Governor Hutchinson addresses recent protests in Arkansas, across the nation

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- Governor Asa Hutchinson held a news conference Monday afternoon to discuss the weekend protests in Arkansas and across the nation.

Here are the details of the conference:

Governor Asa Hutchinson gave thanks to the police officers for their long hours and hard work.

He began to talk about the death of George Floyd and that he understands the outrage of people the disappointment, fear, and distrust that they feel and that he respects the protests.

He said that it’s his job to make sure to protect the protesters.

It’s also his job to make sure there is not destruction of property.

He then said that it was not until he saw the damage to the State Capitol Saturday night that he realized the Arkansas National Guard support was needed to help protect peaceful protestors and protect property as a backup.

The governor said he supports the 10 p.m. curfew the LR mayor has issued. Governor says at 10 p.m., “It’s time to go home”.     

He said he will not tolerate acts of violence or destroying property.

The governor said he does not support the military coming in and helping secure our city or state.

State police and National Guard is there to backup Little Rock police. 

The governor said he would not address the president’s tweets.  The governor said he will be supportive of peaceful protests and he wants his comments on twitter to be balanced to support them but to go against destroying property.

The Governor and Col. Bryant with Arkansas State Police says that tear gas has been used on protestors after they have been asked to disperse.  They do five to eight warnings before the gas is fired. 

He said they don’t fire gas until they see violence or see property damage.  He said that they will protect protestors but once they are asked to disperse they should. 

Last night they said that they saw broken windows at the Winthrop Rockefeller building and that they saw fire being set on the pavement.

The head of the Arkansas Martin Luther King Jr. Commission spoke and he said he supports peaceful protests without violence.

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