Three officers in Arkansas were seen repeatedly punching a suspect and slamming his face to the pavement.
The Arkansas State Police have launched an official probe and temporarily suspended one police officer and two deputies, after a viral video showed them roughing up a suspect during an arrest on Sunday morning. Amid social media outcry over alleged excessive brutality, authorities said the man attacked them first, injuring one of the officers.
The incident took place around 10:30am Sunday outside a Kountry Xpress convenience store in Mulberry, Crawford County, and was partially captured on video by a witness who then shared it online.
The disturbing recording begins with the suspect already lying on the ground while three law officers on top of him repeatedly punch and knee the man, as well as slam his head to the ground. The video ends after one of the cops notices the eyewitness recording the scuffle, and seemingly orders the camera turned off.
@anthonyjohnson520 police in Arkansas still finding out who. my sister witnessed this today. #policebrutality #backtheblue #pigsoftiktok ♬ original sound – Naomi Ruth Johnson
After the incident went viral, police released the identity of the man, and said he was eventually taken to a hospital with “minor head injuries,” according to local media.
#BREAKING: We have learned the identity of the man in the arrest incident in Mulberry, AR.
Randal Worcester, 27, from Goose Creek, South Carolina, is jailed in Crawford Co.
He faces multiple charges, including 2nd degree battery & assault, resisting, terroristic threatening. pic.twitter.com/4QV4KaOUqJ
— Lydia Fielder (@4029Lydia) August 22, 2022
Police said the officers were responding to a call from a store clerk who claimed the suspect “spat in their face” and was making “terroristic threats.” The man was allegedly cooperative when first confronted by the cops, but then turned violent and injured one of the officers. He is facing charges of battery, assault and resisting arrest.
“In reference to the video circulating social media involving two Crawford County Deputies, we have requested that Arkansas State Police conduct the investigation and the Deputies have been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation,” Crawford County Sheriff Jimmy Damante said in a statement on Sunday.
“The officer is on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation,” the Mulberry police department confirmed in a separate press release, adding that “The City of Mulberry and the Mulberry Police Department takes these investigations very seriously and holds all their officers accountable for their actions.”