Meeting with police chief over Isadore shooting draws just one resident

What was billed as a community meeting with Police Jeff Hubanks to discuss the death of Monroe Isadore attracted several members of the media Wednesday afternoon, but only one member of the community — Barbara Blunt Muhammad, who had asked Hubanks for the meeting.

Isadore, 107, was shot and killed Sept. 7 after he exchanged gunfire with police following a standoff that lasted several hours.

Last week, a special prosecutor said no criminal charges would be filed in the case.

Blunt-Muhammad said people in “the black community” are uncomfortable with the ruling.

“Just because they’re not here doesn’t mean they’re not uncomfortable,” Blunt-Muhammad said when asked about the absence of other residents at Wednesday’s meeting. “They’re uncomfortable with the decisions made and a lot feel like he (Isadore) should not have been shot. They need answers.”

She also said residents believe members of the department’s SWAT team, who were involved in the standoff, should receive more sensitivity training, and training on how to deal with elderly people.

Hubanks said department officers receive a vast amount of training on a variety of subjects, and noted that officers just completed a training class conducted by the Southeast Arkansas Behavioral Healthcare Center on dealing with people with mental issues.

“There’s no such thing as too much training and sensitivity training is part of our training and we will continue to do so,” he said.

Blunt-Muhammad also called for “an outside investigation” into the shooting, saying that the U.S. Department of Justice should conduct that investigation.

Shortly after the incident occurred, some residents called for an investigation by the Arkansas State Police. The ASP declined to do so, but did provide technical assistance with the special prosecutor’s investigation that resulted in the decision not to file charges.

“The black community doesn’t agree with the decision and we can request another investigation,” Blunt-Muhammad said Wednesday, adding that she had faxed a request for an investigation to the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, but didn’t have a copy of that request with her.

“The Justice Department is certainly free to come in and investigate,” Hubanks said. “If they do, they will get our full cooperation.”