Little Rock Police Concerned For Safety At Concerts

Little Rock, Ark.’s police chief says his department is looking for the best way to monitor possible danger at performances and events without discouraging musicians from coming to Arkansas after a shooting during a rap concert this summer left 27 people injured.

The Little Rock Police Department has twice sent letters of concern this month to a concert venue hosting a hip-hop show, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.

Little Rock
AP Photo/Kelly P. Kissel
– Little Rock
Little Rock Police Chief Kenton Buckner speaks during a news conference Wednesday, October 18, 2017, at police headquarters in Little Rock, Ark,. about the recent arrest of a suspect in a July nightclub shooting.

Police Chief Kenton Buckner stressed that his department hasn’t demanded the cancellation of a show or pressured venues to do so. He said the department is trying to balance ensuring safety while protecting the free speech of artists and concert-goers.

Buckner said the shooting in July at Power Ultra Lounge while Finese2Tymes was performing has caused police to heighten their awareness of potential threats at performances in the city.

In the latest letter, dated Tuesday, the chief expressed concern about security at an upcoming meet-and-greet with hip-hop artist Jacquees. The letter cites violence at some of the artist’s past shows, including one in Iowa.

“Due to recent events in Little Rock and throughout the country, it is important that you understand that such events require a significant amount of security,” the letter said.

The Police Department’s intelligence division skims social media posts and takes tips about events that will draw a crowd and then researches the performers to determine any past violent affiliations.

“We are still trying to figure out when, where and how we do this practice that we have started,” Buckner said.