Arkansas city attorney used slurs and racist language — including while training police recruits: report

On Monday, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported that the city attorney for Little Rock has made racist comments and used slurs on multiple occasions, including at least one time while training police recruits.

"The human resources director at the city of Little Rock told the mayor and his chief of staff that the use of a racial slur in any context was prohibited by the city's disciplinary action policy after an employee claimed City Attorney Tom Carpenter used a racial slur, records show," reported Joseph Flaherty. "In an email, Little Rock Chief People Officer Stacey Witherell went on to suggest that certain behaviors by supervisors and department directors could warrant termination instead of the 20-day workday suspension city policy called for upon a first offense."

"Witherell sent an email to Mayor Frank Scott Jr. and his chief of staff, Kendra Pruitt, on Sept. 27, one day after Witherell learned that Samantha Wilson — then an Arkansas Freedom of Information Act coordinator assigned to the city attorney's office — claimed Carpenter said a racial slur in conversation, according to a separate Sept. 27 memo from Witherell addressed to Scott and City Manager Bruce Moore," said the report.

According to the report, the city government shortly thereafter became aware of another racist incident involving Carpenter.

"A police major assigned to training ... confirmed to Witherell that 'there was a documented case of Mr. Carpenter training police recruits when he gave them an example of something verbally offensive he advised the recruits could not say,' she wrote. 'The example was offensive and inappropriate and derogatory toward African Americans,'" said the report. "The memo did not identify the police official with whom Witherell spoke."

This comes after a series of high-profile incidents in which local law enforcement officials around the country were caught using racial slurs. In Cincinnati, two separate police officers were caught using the N-word casually in fits of anger. Officers in West Point, Georgia, were recently suspended after being caught using the same slur on home security footage.