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An inside peek at the Little Rock street racing scene



Little Rock, Arkansas – During the epidemic, as many people stayed at home, racing and caravanning on highways and city streets were commonplace. The risky trend persisted once the state reopened, and this has had fatal repercussions.

Little Rock Hood News is an independent blog started by Cash Johnson that covers events in the state’s capital.

Car shows was one of his most popular stories. These are occasions where drivers congregate on the sidewalks and in parking lots to display their vehicles. When these vehicle displays were common during the pandemic two years ago, we chatted with him.
Johnson said that even though they have changed significantly, they still take place.

“The new people that they bring with them, they bring guns and all type of stuff. It’s been times where I have just been sitting in the car and three kids walk by me with AR rifles,” Johnson described.

Johnson was present during the March incident on Asher Street where multiple persons were shot and two of them died.

“I was just sitting on the side, everybody doing their thing, and all I heard was a fully automatic weapon go off,” said Johnson. “You got a girl laying in the bushes. You got people laying in the roadway. It was just so much chaos.”

One of the people who was shot and killed that night was someone he knew.

“He was crawling to his truck, but by the time he got to his truck I think he died at his truck,” said Johnson.

In front of the Little Rock board of directors that week, LRPD Assistant Chief Andre Dyer spoke about the events leading up to the shootings.

“From what I understand we had to clear the park of a thousand vehicles,” said Dyer.

A “Sunday Funday,” a word used to designate caravanning activities like the one that weekend, was clearly anticipated by LRPD.

Multiple officers were absent that day, according to Assistant Chief Dyer, and there wasn’t as much street patrol as had been planned.

“There could have been a lot of lives taken out there on that night. Thank God the number of lives that were taken was limited, and I’m not selling that short,” said Dyer.

After what occurred, the LRPD announced they will increase patrols on weekends as the weather warms up.

The assistant chief was approached for an interview to talk about this, but he declined.

While LRPD declined to respond to our particular queries, they did provide a statement confirming that they are cooperating with other law enforcement authorities to stop high-speed street racing.

The statement said in part, “While the joint effort aims to stop illegal street racing and caravanning, the detail will not interfere with day-to-day operations or calls for service.”

These initiatives have received assistance from Pulaski County and the state police. According to state police, “Operation Safe Streets” began on May 12 and continues to this day.

610 people were detained by state troopers earlier this month as part of “Operation Safe Streets.” Charges included possession of illegal weapons, drug use, and speeding.

Johnson argued that simply responding to complaints at these car exhibitions by the police is still insufficient. They must go one step further.

“The only way I can say that LRPD can help is they have to put people in our community to patrol in our community and actually live in our community,” said Johnson.

According to the police, three fatalities connected to racing have occurred throughout the state.

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