LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KAIT) -Governor Asa Hutchinson declared a state of emergency Tuesday, June 2 in response to the protests across the state.
In a proclamation, Gov. Hutchinson ordered the state of emergency to last for 30 days unless extended.
The proclamation ordered law enforcement to operate as a “unified command to protect civil rights and ensure public safety.”
He also ordered that sheriff’s offices and police departments shall have command and “operational control,” and can assume command in any jurisdiction needed to ensure civil liberty
The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management was also ordered to engage, coordinate, and deploy available resources wherever needed.
The governor also ordered the Adjutant General of Arkansas to call on any active service needed to protect life, property, and assist civilian authorities.
“Our citizens have the right to peacefully assemble and protest, and the State of Arkansas is committed to protecting those rights," Hutchinson said. “Recent assemblies and protests occurring in the State of Arkansas have been overtaken by destructive and violent individuals, creating conditions of distress for the citizens and businesses of the state and the rule of law must be maintained for the protection of citizens and businesses from violence and damage.”
"There is a need to take protective actions to protect lives and property of citizens being currently impacted by this emergency and additional resources of the State of Arkansas are needed to help relieve the conditions of distress and hazard to the safety and welfare of the citizens of the state.”