Arkansas police officers suspended amid probe into beating caught on camera
Three Arkansas police officers have been placed on leave after they were caught on camera beating an individual in the town of Mulberry, authorities said on Sunday.
A video posted by KARK 4 News’s Mitchell McCoy shows two officers repeatedly punching and kicking the individual’s head and body as a third officer kept the person pinned down. At one point, one of the officers appears to slam the individual’s head into the ground.
Arkansas State Police on Sunday evening said they had opened an investigation into the officers’ use of force during the incident, which occurred outside a convenience store.
The agency identified the individual in the video as Randall Worcester, 27, of Goose Creek, S.C. State police said he was 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.
Worcester was transported to a local hospital for treatment and was later jailed following his release, the agency said.
“The state police investigation will be limited to the use of physical force by the deputies and police officer,” the statement reads. “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.”
The Crawford County Sheriff’s Office said it had requested state police open the investigation.
“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,” the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
“I hold all my employees accountable for their actions and will take appropriate measures in this matter,” the statement continued.
The Mulberry Police Department issued a similar statement, saying one of its employees was the third officer involved and that the officer has been placed on leave.
“The Arkansas State Police have been asked to investigate the incident,” the statement read.
“The officer is on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation,” it continued. “The City of Mulberry and the Mulberry Police Department takes these investigations very seriously and holds all their officers accountable for their actions. We will take the appropriate actions at the conclusion of the investigation.”
Mulberry is located roughly 20 miles northeast of Fort Smith, Ark.
Updated at 10:16 p.m.