Arkansas Representative & Candidate Threatened With Gunfire, Police Draw Weapons

Democratic Party of Arkansas Calls Out Racial Targeting & Harassment

State Rep.Vivian Flowers (Pine Bluff) and Arkansas House candidate Ryan Davis (Little Rock) were harassed and threatened with gunfire on Monday, February 3 after leaving a fundraiser in a Little Rock neighborhood. They were targeted and denied fair treatment because of their race. The incident involved aggressive members of the community and law enforcement officials. The Arkansas Times has published an account of the incident.

“It shouldn’t matter that this happened to a state legislator or a candidate for the Legislature. It shouldn’t happen, period. They were targeted because of their race. Had the roles been reversed, and it was an African-American standing on a porch, telling a white woman to drop dead and then firing a gun — they’d have been arrested,” said Democratic Party of Arkansas Chairman Michael John Gray. “The attitude in this country right now is toxic. What happened here is unacceptable, but more importantly it must become intolerable. I’ll never know what it’s like to walk in their shoes, but my heart goes out to them still. We have to do better as a country, and as a state, about treating people right and ensuring that justice is meted out with colorblind eyes. I know we can do better and that we can come together.”

Check out this excerpt from the Arkansas Times account of the incident >>>

“Ryan had walked Vivian to her car about four doors down from my house, and they lingered a moment in front of her car finishing their conversation. The car was parked in front of a neighbor’s house, and those neighbors began harassing Vivian and Ryan, telling them they didn’t belong there and yelling at them to leave. (If you don’t know or haven’t yet guessed, Ryan and Vivian are black, and our aggressive neighbors are white.) Two men exited the house and entered the yard, approaching them threateningly. Ryan and Vivian both called the police.

Meanwhile, an older white woman from the other side of the street came outside and joined in yelling at Ryan and Vivian. She told them to leave and to “drop dead.” Then the sound of a gunshot rang out from the woman’s house. Ryan and Vivian each called 911 again to report the gunfire.

I didn’t know yet about the neighbors and the arguing and the gunshot. I came outside of my house after getting Vivian’s text to find police officers approaching with their guns pointed at Vivian and Ryan. I ran into the street, yelling to the police officers that they had their guns drawn on my friends. They slowed to tell me they had a call about two people arguing in the street and gunfire. I reiterated that they were my friends, that one was a state legislator and the other was a candidate for office, that I KNEW they didn’t have a gun and weren’t arguing, and that the officers didn’t need to aim weapons at them.

Then, they turned their weapons on me and ordered me back to my house…”