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Letter: Ex-Little Rock police chief justified in firing gun

Little Rock Police Chief Keith Humphrey
Michael Hibblen
/
KUAR News
Former Little Rock Police Chief Keith Humphrey, seen here speaking to reporters on Dec. 4, 2019, will not face charges for filing at a suspect.

A former Little Rock police chief who fired his gun at an armed suspect on New Year’s Eve won’t face charges in the shooting.

Prosecutor Larry Jegley said in a letter to Arkansas State Police dated Friday that Keith Humphrey was justified in the use of force in the shooting outside a convenience store. A state police spokesman said the letter formally closes the agency’s investigation into the shooting.

Humphrey had stopped after seeing a fight among a crowd in the parking lot and was approaching the group when a 29-year-old woman shot and critically wounded a 22-year-old woman, state police said.

Humphrey then opened fire, but did not strike the 29-year-old, who was later arrested, state police said. The woman has pleaded not guilty to first-degree battery.

Humphrey had been briefly placed on administrative leave after the shooting.

Humphrey, who was hired as chief in April 2019, retired in May after a rocky tenure marked by clashes with the Little Rock Fraternal Order of Police and lawsuits over promotions, disciplinary cases and other issues. A national search is being conducted for his replacement.

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

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