Wed. Mar 29th, 2023

Three Arkansas law enforcement officers were suspended Sunday following social media outrage over a video that seemingly showed two deputies and an officer striking a suspect under arrest.

Crawford County Sheriff Jimmy Damante issued a statement Sunday evening, stating two county deputies will be suspended during the course of the Arkansas state police’s investigation into the incident and the sheriff’s office’s internal investigation.

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

Mulberry Police chief Shannon Gregory said in a statement Sunday that a member of his department was seen in the video and that the officer is “on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.”

The video appeared to show the three officers striking a man they were arresting while he was pinned on the ground. One officer appears to punch the suspect in the head multiple times while another knees the suspect’s body.

Arkansas State Police confirmed it has opened an investigation into the incident, which occurred Sunday around 10:40 a.m. local time.

State police identified the man who was arrested as 27-year-old Randall Worcester or Goose Creek, South Carolina.

According to police, a report indicated that a man was making threats to a convenience store employee in Mulberry on Sunday morning. Mulberry is located about 137 miles (220.48 kilometers) northwest of Little Rock.

Police said when the officers confronted the man, he pushed a deputy to the ground and punched the back of his head, leading to the arrest seen in the video. He was taken to a local hospital and treated before being released and jailed, state police said.

Worcester has been charged with second degree battery, resisting arrest, refusal to submit, possessing an instrument of crime, criminal trespass, criminal mischief, terroristic threatening, and second degree assault, police said. 

The identities of the three officers involved were not immediately released.

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