LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS — Chris Jones, the Democratic nominee for governor or Arkansas, issues the statement in regards to the recent police arrest incident in Crawford County, Arkansas. Jones supports law enforcement as a vital part of safe and healthy communities, while also calling for reform of the criminal justice system and an end to police brutality.
This past Sunday a video of a violent encounter between three law enforcement officers and a restrained man in Mulberry, Arkansas spread online. Like so many Arkansans — and folks across the country — I am outraged and deeply disturbed by this unfolding story.
The Crawford County Sheriff’s Office took an important first step by immediately requesting a State Police investigation and suspending the officers pending the outcome.
While we await the outcome of this investigation, we cannot ignore the hard truth set before our eyes: This was excessive and violent police brutality, and we must find solutions to make sure this never happens again. We owe it to one another to explore solutions including reform of use-of-force policies (including de-escalation requirements and reporting measures), body camera usage, and improved training regimens.
The vast majority of our nation’s police officers serve our communities with compassion and sensitivity. Still, incidents like what we saw in Crawford County occur far too often.
We all want our families to be safe, our voices to be heard, and our rights to be respected. Yet far too many Americans live in constant fear of law enforcement because of the long history of police brutality in America.
We deserve to live in a nation where law enforcement treats people with dignity while keeping our communities safe. I believe that this world is within our reach; we just need the courage to come together and work for it.
So today I make you this promise, when I’m governor of Arkansas I will partner shoulder to shoulder with law enforcement and the communities they serve to ensure that no one has to fear the police and the use of force by law enforcement is a last resort and not a first option.
Earlier this year, Jones called for several specific criminal justice reforms in a promise to address the root causes of mental health and substance abuse, improve resources and training for police and corrections officers, and work to reduce incarceration and recidivism rates. This promise and others are viewable at chrisforgovernor.com/promises.
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Chris Jones is available for interviews this week. For additional information and media inquiries, please contact the campaign at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Chris Jones
Dr. Chris Jones, the 2022 Democratic nominee for Governor of Arkansas, is a physicist, minister, educator, non-profit executive leader, father and husband. Chris, a Pine Bluff, Arkansas native, is a son of two preachers and was raised with a strong sense of faith. He attended Morehouse College on a NASA Scholarship for physics and math, then went on to study at MIT becoming a nuclear engineer and earning a Ph.D. in urban planning. After becoming ordained as a minister, Chris returned home to Arkansas and led the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub. Through this work, he has seen firsthand how disparities within Arkansas have gotten worse, not better. He believes there is much room for growth, including improving public education opportunities in every community, strengthening infrastructure from roads to broadband access, protecting and securing our right to vote, and bridging the rural and urban divide. Chris has faith in Arkansas’s potential, and he is running for governor to ensure every person in Arkansas has an opportunity to succeed. Chris is the proud husband to Dr. Jerrilyn Jones, an emergency medicine physician and U.S. Air Force combat veteran who served in Afghanistan. Together, they are proud parents to three daughters.