Transcript for Little Rock mayor addresses school reopenings, police reform
Many school districts across the country struggle to come up with how to reopen safely, Arkansas's north Little Rock school district is set to start off the school year with a bold plan, an option for in-person learning five days a week. For more on how Little Rock is doing, mayor frank Scott Jr. Is here. Your state marked another milestone in the fight against covid-19, passing that 50,000 total cases with 555 deaths. You're a major hospital hub for your state. How concerned are you about Little Rock's hospital capacity right now? We enacted a covid-19 healthcare task force, which comprises of all of our state's most populated hospitals, located here in Little Rock, and central Arkansas, they continue to keep us you up to date. We're managing well in regard to our capacity. We're paying very much a lot of attention to the rise in cases that we see right now and continue to remain disciplined and diligent as it comes to wearing face masks. Being socially distant. And continue to educate the public the rationale and the reason for why we have to remain disciplined and diligent. So important especially during these times because it's back to school week here on "Gma3." The Little Rock school district, which we know is run by the state of Arkansas, starts the new school year with in-person and virtual options. Where do you stand on school reopening? We're working diligently. While we understand we don't run schools we always have the schools' best interest in mind and are a strategic partner. And that's the reason why we're focused on the digital divide, I think we understand right now not only is it an affordability concern, not only rural areas but urban areas, we're doing what we can from a digital divide to create innovation, but focusing on meals, because many children, only meals during this time of school, so that's the reason why we are partnering with the world kitchen to provide close to three-quarters meals during this pandemic. That's so important to so many families. I know that police reform, mayor, was an issue that you ran on back in 2018, obviously we're talking about that more than ever in the wake of George Floyd's death. What changes have you been able to make in the city of little Rock? We're blessed and grateful we campaigned on accountability. To be accountable, clear and transparent. To date, we already instituted prior to George Floyd and the many other tragic deaths, a citizens police review board, currently have independent review of our Little Rock police department. Duty to intervene, policy that came after listening to protesters. We banned chokeholds. We also for whatever reason the city of Little Rock didn't have body cameras. We put that in our 2020 budget. We were able to get that passed earlier in the year before the George Floyd issues. All of our officers will be outfitted with body cameras again. Being a part of our plan to be accountable, clear and transparent. We're ahead of the curve but we continue to listen. We sat down with protesters to learn more about policies that we want to enact and have community trust. You've been working so hard especially over these past few weeks on so many issues affecting your community. Thank you so much for your time, mayor Scott, be well. Thank you so much, Amy. Still much more ahead here
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