Arkansas officers suspended after social media video shows police beating: NPR

Three Crawford County, Arkansas law enforcement officers have been furloughed after video shared on social media shows them beating and restraining a man in a parking lot. State police will investigate the incident, the governor said.

In the video, a law enforcement officer repeatedly and brutally punches a man whom Arkansas State Police have identified as 27-year-old Randall Worcester and slams his head against the ground in cement several times. Another officer is seen kicking Worcester’s lower body repeatedly while a third officer holds him down.

The incident happened around 10:40 a.m. Sunday outside a convenience store in Mulberry, Crawford County. Mulberry is located near Arkansas’ western border with Oklahoma and approximately 140 miles northwest of Little Rock.

Worcester is accused of threatening a convenience store employee and shoving and punching a deputy in the back of the head after being confronted, according to The Associated Press.

Worcester was sent to the hospital, and was later released and sent to a county jail. He is charged with second degree assault, resisting arrest, refusing to submit, possession of an instrumentality of crime, criminal trespassing, criminal mischief, threatening terrorism and assault on the second degree, state police said.

Two of the officers are deputies with the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office and the third is an officer with the Mulberry City Police Department, law enforcement confirmed.

State police said they are investigating the use of force and are submitting their findings to the Crawford County District Attorney “who will determine whether law enforcement’s use of force complied with state laws.” Arkansas”.

The reaction was swift from the highest levels of state government, with Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson commenting on what he called the “arrest incident”.

“I have spoken with Colonel Bill Bryant of the Arkansas State Police and the local arrest incident in Crawford County will be investigated pursuant to video evidence and request of the prosecutor,” he said. said in a tweet.

Crawford County Sheriff James Damante said in a statement hours before that the two MPs involved in the incident have been suspended “pending the outcome of the investigation”.

“I hold all of my employees accountable for their actions and will take appropriate action in this regard,” Damante said in the statement posted on Facebook.

In a separate statement from Mulberry Police, the department confirmed the incident captured on video involved one of its officers, who it says has since been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation by the state police.

“The City of Mulberry and the Mulberry Police Department take these investigations very seriously and hold all of their officers accountable for their actions,” officials said in the Facebook post. “We will take the appropriate measures at the end of the investigation.”

A user named Naomi Johnson uploaded a video of the incident on TikTok which she also shared on Twitter, and said, “My sister witnessed it today.” Johnson’s video appears to have been deleted from TikTok on Sunday night.

NPR reporter Ayana Archie contributed to this article.

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