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Little Rock mayor: Police Chief Humphrey to retire May 20

Little Rock Police Chief Keith Humphrey
Michael Hibblen
Little Rock Police Chief Keith Humphrey, seen here speaking to reporters on Dec. 4, 2019, is to retire later this month.

Little Rock’s police chief is retiring this month after a rocky three years leading Arkansas’ capital police force that’s been marked by lawsuits and public clashes with officers.

Mayor Frank Scott on Monday announced Chief Keith Humphrey submitted a letter stating his intent to retire, effective May 20. Scott said a national search will be conducted for Humphrey’s replacement and Assistant Chief Crystal Young-Haskins will serve as interim chief starting May 21.

“Chief Humphrey brought meaningful reform to our police department and a renewed focus on community policing during his tenure as chief,” Scott said in a statement. “He remained loyal to his officers and to this city in the midst of adversity and challenging times.”

Humphrey, who was hiredin April 2019, clashed with the Little Rock Fraternal Order of Police and he has been sued by several current and former officers over promotions, disciplinary cases and other issues.

A federal judge in September dismissedHumphrey’s lawsuit against the local police union and several current and former officers that accused them of conspiring to force him out of his job.

The public fight centered around Humphrey’s response to the fatal shooting in 2019 of a Black motorist by a white police officer.

Humphrey’s retirement also comes months after he was briefly placed on paid leave after shooting at a woman who allegedly shot another woman on New Year’s Eve. Humphrey did not strike the woman.

Humphrey had previously served as police chief in Norman, Oklahoma, and Lancaster, Texas.

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