LITTLE ROCK — An Arkansas state legislator was arrested Monday on suspicion of obstructing governmental operations after he filmed a traffic stop and allegedly refused orders to leave the area, authorities said.
A Pulaski County jail employee said state Rep. John Walker, 79, was booked into jail at 12:30 p.m. and released after posting a $1,000 bond at 2:33 p.m.
According to a Little Rock Police Department report, Walker began filming a traffic stop on East Ninth Street and was heard telling the driver, “I’m just making sure they don’t kill you.”
The vehicle was stopped for having no license plate, and the driver had no driver’s license and was wanted on warrants, the report states.
Walker talked over officers “in an antagonistic and provocative manner” and began walking into the area of the traffic stop, according to police. Officers told him several times not to enter the area, but he ignored the commands and, when told to leave the area, said, “Arrest me,” the report states.
At the county jail, an officer overheard Walker, who is black, say to a jailer, “I only want to file a complaint against the white officers,” according to the report.
A call to Walker was answered Monday by a message saying his mailbox was full.
Walker has served in the Arkansas House since 2011. He was a co-sponsor of a state law passed last year that allows members of the public to observe and record events that happen in public places where they are lawfully present, unless they do so as an element of a criminal offense or in a way that violates copyright law, creates a risk to someone’s physical safety, unreasonably obstructs or inhibits another person’s presence or movement, or violates existing requirements that permission be obtained before recording.