James issues statement on police brutality during arrest in Mulberry, Arkansas
*** Press Release ***
LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS – Natalie James, Democratic nominee for United States Senate, issues statement on police brutality during arrest in in Mulberry, Arkansas
Contact: Jackie Riddling FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Communications Director August 23, 2022
Natalie James for Arkansas
LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS―Natalie James, Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, released the following statement on police brutality during arrest in Mulberry, Arkansas:
“A graphic video surfaced on Sunday, August 21, 2022 of police officers in Mulberry, Arkansas repeatedly punching a man in the face and kneeing him in his side and back as he lay on the ground being restrained by the three officers on top of him. The officers shown in the video have been placed on administrative leave, meaning they continue to be paid for doing their job during what may be a lengthy investigation. We have seen similar instances play out across our country over and over again and not even the smallest, most rural of towns are safe from this systemic problem.
A press conference which touts $75 million for a proposed prison expansion and calls the officers’ actions “reprehensible” but stops short of recommending more officer oversight, officer training, or mental health outreaching programs, is not the answer to violent crime or police brutality.
We must shine a spotlight on police brutality and continuously reexamine the issue in order to best serve the citizens of our communities, including the citizens of rural communities such as Mulberry, Arkansas where this shocking act took place.
As the next US Senator for Arkansas I will fight for criminal reformation and police reformation. I will also fight to enact legislation that holds individual officers accountable for their gross misuse of power. Qualified immunity, which shields bad actors from accountability and can cost communities millions of dollars in settlement payouts, must be reexamined. It is time that we consider requiring officers to carry their own personalized insurance, which will alleviate the community burden of police brutality payouts and instead, when coupled with less stringent qualified immunity hurdles, will hold individual officers responsible for their gross misconduct. We also can no longer ignore the lack of mental health resources in our country, especially in underserved and rural communities, which contribute to interactions between police officers and citizens and increase the likelihood of undesired outcomes, such as uncalled-for brut force or unjustified officer shootings.
Together we can create communities that are safe from crime and safe from police brutality."
- Natalie James
Natalie James is a lifelong Arkansan and single working mother of two. As Arkansas’s next US Senator, James will fight to pass legislation that protects and improves the lives of working-class Americans.