NORTH LITTLE ROCK — Instances of misconduct by police must be dealt with individually, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Monday.

NORTH LITTLE ROCK — Instances of misconduct by police must be dealt with individually, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Monday.


Hutchinson was among the speakers at a "We Speak! Call-to-Action Forum," hosted by St. Luke Baptist Church in North Little Rock, a program focusing on clashes between police and blacks, the issues underlying them and ways to address those issues.


The governor told a mostly black audience that there have been many "horrific instances" around the country recently.


"They’re intolerable and they should be addressed," he said, adding that racial profiling is wrong and there should be more education of police officers.


But Hutchinson said each situation is individual and should be addressed as such.


"The police by and large put their lives on the line to keep us safe," he said.


Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola named several things the city of Little Rock is doing to improve relations between police and the community, including racial sensitivity training for officers and a program in which black police officers serve as mentors to young people.


But Stodola said the city needs to do more and said he does not doubt that at times there is "some racial profiling going on."


Sherwood Mayor Virginia Hillman Young said Sherwood police work to keep everyone safe and said that "we try to do that regardless of race or gender.


"We don’t make stops based upon those variables," Young said, adding that "we all make mistakes and we’re going to continue to make them, but we all have to work harder."


Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen, who is black, said injustice does not happen by mistake.


"Injustice is a result of things that are done systemically," he said. "It’s not accidental. It isn’t accidental when a police officer shoots an unarmed person. It isn’t accidental when a white person commits murder and gets arrested safely, and a black person can’t walk around safely without fear of getting killed."


Griffen called for a moratorium on building new prisons and jails.


"We don’t have too few jail beds. We have too many people in jail who should never have been there," he said.


Griffen also said the state should have an agency that investigates all killings by police.


Also speaking at the forum were state Sen. Linda Chesterfield, D-Little Rock, who said she wants more funding for early childhood education and a moratorium on the state taking over public school districts "and not producing results," and the Rev. George Parks, pastor of New Hope Baptist Church in North Little Rock, who said black church leaders and political leaders should engage with each other year-round, not just during political seasons.