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5 activists at Arkansas Capitol charged; police say 'shut it down' chanted

Five activists who were arrested at the state Capitol on Monday were charged with disorderly conduct, obstructing government operations and criminal trespass, according to police reports.

All the charges are misdemeanors.

The police reports for the arrests were released Tuesday afternoon by the secretary of state's office, which is in charge of operations at the Capitol.

None of the arrested was listed in the Pulaski County jail roster Tuesday.

The people were identified as members of the Arkansas Poor People's campaign, which had a permit to demonstrate outside on the Capitol's front steps Monday, a spokesman for Secretary of State Mark Martin said. They were: the Rev. Sara Milford, 40, of Bentonville; Sarah Bryan, 26, of Fayetteville; Mary Davis, 36, of Ward; Matthew Henriksen, 41, of Fayetteville, and Jennifer Phillips, 40, of Ward.

Each had a listed court appearance in Little Rock District Court on July 24.

Capitol Police Chief Darrell Hedden told reporters Monday that he blocked access to the building from the protesters after he heard them chanting that they were going to "shut it down."

In a statement attached to the arrest reports, Hedden wrote that he perceived that to be a "direct threat."

"I immediately ordered the building locked down for the protection of the building occupants to prevent possible damage to the interior of the building by this group," Hedden wrote.

The protesters were arrested after they were asked several times to clear the tunnel entrance on the east side of the building, but they declined to do so.

Metro on 06/13/2018

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