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Arkansas police beating – video sparks investigation into incident. Here’s what we know

Arkansas police beating – video footage showing a South Carolina man being beaten by three Arkansas law enforcement officers surfaced on social media. It has resulted in two Crawford County Sheriff’s deputies being suspended and a Mulberry police officer placed on leave, the sheriff and Mulberry police chief reported.

The incident occurred outside an Arkansas convenience store around 10:30 a.m. on Sunday. According to police, a report indicated that a man was making threats to a convenience store employee in Mulberry, Arkansas.

The Arkansas State Police are investigating the incident after the video was widely circulated on social media.

Video of police brutality

The 35-second video of three Arkansas law enforcement officers appearing to beat a person appeared on Reddit not too long after the incident, according to the time stamp on the post. 

In the video, three law enforcement officers are seen on top of a man under arrest punching him in the head and kneeing him several times. An officer points at the person recording the video, ordering her to stop videotaping.

Since then, more the 9,000 comments have been made on the video. 

Who is the man in the Arkansas police video?

The man, identified as Randall Worcester, 27, of Goose Creek, South Carolina, is seen in the video on the ground under two Crawford County deputies and a Mulberry police officer outside of a Georgia Ridge Drive gas station. 

A news release from the Arkansas State Police Sunday night stated:

“The Arkansas State Police has opened an investigation into the use of force by two Crawford County sheriff’s deputies and a Mulberry police officer in the arrest of a South Carolina man.”

Worcester was taken to an area hospital for examination and treatment. He was later booked at the Crawford County Jail in Van Buren, state police said.

Who are the Arkansas police involved?

On Monday, the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office released the names of the two deputies and the Mulberry police officer in a Facebook post. 

Zack King and Levi White were identified as the deputies in the video and Thell Riddle was identified as the officer from Mulberry.

The Facebook post also referred to an comment with an address for a Zack King, “this is a civilian and is NOT the Crawford County Deputy or associated with the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office,” the post read. 

Where is Mulberry, Arkansas?

Mulberry is located about 137 miles northwest of Little Rock. It is part of the Fort Smith, Arkansas-Oklahoma Metropolitan Statistical Area. With a population of 1,655, as of the 2010 Census.

Arkansas officers suspended after video shows man being beaten

Arkansas state police have launched an investigation into three officers who were captured on video holding down and beating a man outside a convenience store, an interaction that sparked outrage on social media.

The incident comes as video footage captured by body cameras and cellphones continue to expose aggressive and abusive policing practices across the US. Recently, in Florida, a deputy resigned after video surfaced of him pointing his gun at a pregnant Black woman during a traffic stop.

Officers in Arkansas responded Sunday to a report of a man who allegedly threatened convenience store workers in a nearby area and then rode his bicycle to Mulberry, a town north-west of Little Rock, the Fort Smith Times Record reported.

Video captured of the encounter showed an officer pinning down Randall Worcester, of South Carolina, to the ground as one punched him and another kneed him.

Worcester, 27, was taken to a hospital for treatment on Sunday. After the hospital discharged him, officers booked him in a local jail on multiple charges, including second-degree battery, resisting arrest and terroristic threatening, state police said.

Two deputies with the nearby Crawford county sheriff’s office were suspended pending an investigation into use of force practices while a police officer working for the municipality of Mulberry was placed on leave. Authorities have yet to publicly release the officers’ names.

“The state police investigation will be limited to the use of physical force by the deputies and police officer,” Arkansas state police said in a statement. “Upon completion of the investigation, the case file will be submitted to the Crawford county prosecuting attorney who will determine whether the use of force by the law enforcement officers was consistent with Arkansas laws.”

Meanwhile, in Florida, deputy Jason DeSue of the Bradford county sheriff’s office resigned after footage initially captured by one of a woman’s children showed an aggressive interaction following a traffic stop.

Ebony Washington, a mother of three, told 11 News she was driving from home with her children when DeSue pulled her over for speeding. As she turned on her hazard lights, DeSue warned her: “Pull the vehicle over, or I’ll put you into the ground,” according to body-camera video.

Washington said she searched for a well-lit area to pull her car over before she parked at a nearby gas station. After she stopped, DeSue raised his gun, pointed it at her vehicle and yelled, “If you make any movement, that’ll be your last mistake you’re gonna make.” Washington pulled her hands out of the car window but did not know DeSue had a gun until he informed her.

Washington said she tried to reason with DeSue, explaining that she waited to pull over because she had her kids in the car and was four months pregnant. In response, DeSue said on video: “Shut up about the why.” Video showed him grabbing Washington by the arm and aggressively handcuffing her. He gave her a speeding ticket, and Washington apologized.

A sheriff’s spokesperson at the Bradford county sheriff’s office told Action News Jax that DeSue, who joined the department in 2020, had a history of issues and had entered into a “last-chance” agreement. “His verbal abuse was intolerable and we weren’t going to allow that,” said the agency’s chief deputy, Brad Smith.

“Had I done any type of movement outside of what he asked me to do, that could have been an opportunity for him to pull the trigger,” Washington told 11 News.

Sources:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/aug/22/arkansas-officers-suspended-video-shows-suspect-beaten

https://globalnews.ca/news/9076320/arkansas-police-beating-video-suspended/

https://www.swtimes.com/story/news/2022/08/22/arkansas-police-video-3-suspended-after-beating-caught-tape/7864562001/

https://austin-ar.com/police-department

https://globalnews.ca/news/9076320/arkansas-police-beating-video-suspended/

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