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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

ALC Files Civil Suit in Scott County


On February 7, President of the Arkansas Liberty Coalition, Gary Epperson, filed a civil lawsuit against Forrest City and officer Darren Smith.

In the filing, Epperson contends Forrest City is in violation of the Freedom of Information Act. Additionally, that Smith is in violation of the Arkansas Civil Rights Act, and the crime victims statute.

Court documents reflect Epperson’s FOIA requests to the FCPD on November 5, 27, December 11 and 16 of 2018. The two initial requests were related to an arrest of a persons carrying a weapon.

FCPD denied the first request, stating the case was still under investigation. Charges in that case were dropped on November 4, 2018. According to court documents, Epperson followed up with FCPD Lieutenant Eric Varner. At that time, Varner informed Epperson that his office had not received a FOIA request.

“After an investigation, it was determined that after improperly denying Gary Epperson’s request, Darren Smith had deleted Epperson’s FOIA requests.”

The alleged deletion of these requests, and the delay in response, is both a violation of the Arkansas Civil Rights Act, as well as the FOIA statute.

The complaint stated, “despite repeatedly broken promises and delayed timelines from Forrest City about compliance, Forrest City has yet to comply with either the December 11 or December 16 FOIA requests.”

Epperson noted that the ALC has exhausted all efforts to retain the requested information and this was the only recourse. He added “We aren’t anti-law enforcement. We have always had a good relationship, and we want to maintain that.”

The ALC, which formed in 2013, has more than 16k plus members. According to Epperson, the ALC was formed “to stand up for the every day citizens of the state. The second amendment is the bedrock of the ALC, although we cover other areas other than the second amendment. From this point forward, after Taff vs Arkansas, the ALC will pursue litigation against any law enforcement agency who cites an individual who is carrying a weapon for lawful purposes.”

The Arkansas Liberty Coalition’s attorney, Whitfield Hyman, is asking the court to set the hearing within seven days of the filing.

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Tammy Teague
Tammy Teague
Tammy is the heart behind the brand. Her tenacity to curate authentic journalism, supported by a genuine heart is one her many wholesome qualities.
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