LITTLE ROCK (KATV) — A Little Rock blogger and activist who for years has antagonized city leaders was charged with misdemeanor harassment after he allegedly yelled sexual and homophobic slurs at a city employee.
Russ Racop, 62, the creator of the "Bad Government in Arkansas" and "Bad City of Little Rock" blogs, parked outside of the West Central Sports Complex on Jan. 14 and watched Recreation Facility Supervisor Larry Gilmore walk to his car, according to a police affidavit. Racop reportedly pulled up beside Gilmore as he was walking and began yelling vulgar, homophobic and sexual comments at him. The blogger posted video of the incident on his Facebook page.
Gilmore told police he did not respond to Racop and continued walking. He said that when another man appeared in the parking lot, Racop left.
A few weeks later, on March 5, Racop reportedly followed Gilmore in his vehicle in the parking lot of the West Central Community Center. He reportedly called him a "Black fat a** b******." Another city employee told police Racop had harassed him and "flipped him off" in the parking lot during a livestreamed encounter.
The next day, Racop posted a disciplinary record on his blog that shows the city suspended Gilmore for five days due to "conduct unbecoming of a professional." In the post, Racop said Gilmore assaulted a man at "the ball fields."
When asked by police if he would provide a statement regarding his alleged harassment, Racop said he would not because he is filing a hate crime complaint against Gilmore and a city director.
A warrant for Racop's arrest was filed Friday and a criminal citation was issued. A court date was set for July 12.
Racop has used his blog to break news of police misconduct and raise questions about the actions of numerous public officials. He has vigorously employed the state's Freedom of Information Act to obtain and publish public records, sometimes suing public agencies for access to those records. He has also clashed with the Little Rock mayor and other officials at city board meetings, sometimes cursing at them during the public comment period.
Racop unsuccessfully ran for Ward 6 city director in 2018 and at-large city director in 2020.