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Little Rock police chief disputes report that he used emergency lights to bypass traffic

Little Rock Police Chief Keith Humphrey in an interview with KATV (Photo: KATV){ }
Little Rock Police Chief Keith Humphrey in an interview with KATV (Photo: KATV)
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Little Rock Police Chief Keith Humphrey on Thursday disputed accusations in a local news report that he used his emergency lights and siren to bypass traffic.

Little Rock NBC affiliate KARK-TV aired the story Tuesday. It has since been removed from the station's website.

The story, which can still be seen in a cached version of the website, says that "multiple law enforcement witnesses claim they saw [Humphrey] activate his lights and sirens to bypass traffic to Verizon Arena" on Sept. 3. The arena was hosting a lecture that night by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The story raised questions about whether Humphrey had violated state law and department policy by using his lights and siren for something that wasn't an emergency.

The story cites unnamed sources and an "advocate for police officers" named Jimmie Cavin.

Humphrey said in written statement Thursday that the accusations were false and that KARK-TV did not give police "ample time to address these allegations."

"I was invited by the Secret Service to attend this event," the statement says, in part. "Just before entering a secured barricaded area, I activated my blue lights so a North Little Rock Police Officer was aware a fellow officer in a dark vehicle with tinted windows was approaching a barricaded area. This was for safety purposes and out of respect for the officer working the barricade."

Humphrey requested that the story be retracted. He's also seeking an apology.

No retraction or correction could be found on the KARK-TV website. It was unclear Thursday afternoon if the station had issued a retraction or correction on the air.

Ernie Paulson, the station's news director, said Thursday afternoon that he did not immediately have a comment on the matter.

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