3 Officers Are Suspended Following Video of Man Beat Being Arrested

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After a graphic video of the brutal arrest of a man in Arkansas, three law enforcement officers were suspended. The video shows the man being repeatedly punched and kicked in the head while lying down in a parking garage.

According to authorities, the officers were responding to a report about a man threatening a Mulberry store, which is located near the Oklahoma border.

Arkansas State Police are investigating the use of force and identified the man who was being arrested as Randal Worcester, 27, of South Carolina. The incident has been taken up by federal authorities.

“The FBI and the Arkansas State Police will collect all available evidence and will ensure that the investigation is conducted in a fair, thorough, and impartial manner,”Monday’s statement was made by the Justice Department. “The federal investigation is separate and independent from the ongoing state investigation.”

The video, recorded from a nearby car, appears to show one officer punching the man with his fist and slamming the man’s head into the pavement while another is seen kicking the man with his knee. A third officer seems to be holding the man on the ground.

On Tuesday, nearly one million people had viewed the video.

Crawford County Sheriff Jimmy Damante indicated in a statement two of his deputies were suspended with pay pending investigations. They were Levi White and Zack King, he said.

“I hold all my employees accountable for their actions and will take appropriate measures in this matter,” Damante said.

The Mulberry Police Department said one of its officers, Thell Riddle, had been placed on leave pending the investigations. Chief Shannon Gregory stated that the investigation is being handled by the department and the community. “very seriously.”

An attorney for the deputies, Russell Wood, said the suspect had initiated the violence by attacking deputy White and giving him a concussion.

The man “became irate and viciously attacked Deputy White by grabbing him by the legs, lifting him up and body-slamming him, headfirst, on the concrete parking lot,”Wood stated. White was knocked to the ground by the suspect. “striking him on the back of the head and face,” the attorney said his client told him.

Those events are not seen on the bystander’s video posted to Twitter. 

Worcester was taken to a hospital Sunday and released Monday on $15,000 bail. He has been charged with multiple counts including second-degree battery, resisting arrest and making terroristic threats, according to state police.

His attorneys told reporters that a woman heard yelling on the video for the officers to stop hitting Worcester may have prevented him from being seriously injured.

“The fight was escalating with those officers, and you hear that woman on that video yelling and whoever that is, I think she could have saved his life,” said lawyer Carrie Jernigan.

Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson said during a Monday press conference that federal authorities were investigating the “reprehensible conduct” of the officers and said their actions were “Not consistent” with Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy practices.

Warning! Graphic Content

 

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