Three Arkansas police officers were filmed brutally beating a man during an arrest on Sunday, and now all three have been removed from duty and are under investigation, their departments confirmed.
CNN reports that two of the officers in the video are deputies with the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office, while the third is an officer with the Mulberry Police Department.
Video taken by a bystander and posted on social media shows the officers as they physically restrain a man, identified by Arkansas State Police identified as Randal Worcester, 27, of Goose Creek, South Carolina, and appear to punch his face and knee him in the side and back as he lays restrained.
“Don’t beat him! He needs his medicine!” says a woman who’s not seen on camera. “Back the f*** up!” one of the officers replies, before another demands she get in her car.
Crawford sheriff dept Arkansas pic.twitter.com/KZAmwzwwmV
— Naomi Johnson (@NaomiRHelm) August 21, 2022
Deputy Injured During Scuffle With Suspect, Who Was Wanted For Threatening Gas Station Clerk
CNN reports that the person who uploaded the video to social media said that her sister saw the scene unfold outside of a Kountry Xpress in Mulberry.
Crawford County Sheriff Jimmy Damante told outlet affiliate KHBS that Worcester was wanted for reportedly threatening a gas station employee in a nearby town.
Damante added that he was initially cooperative, but then tried to attack the officers, with the ensuing confrontation seen in the video.
Worcester was eventually taken to an area hospital before being booked in jail. A deputy did sustain minor head injuries during the violent arrest, the sheriff told KHBS.
He’s currently being held on charges of second-degree battery, resisting arrest, possessing an instrument of crime, criminal trespass, criminal mischief, terroristic threatening as well as first- and second-degree assault charges, according to state police and jail records.
Crawford County jail records show he’s being held on $15,000 bail.
JUST IN: State Police have identified the man being hit by the officers as 27-year-old Randal Ray Worcester of Goose Creek, South Carolina.
— Mitchell McCoy (@MitchellMcCoy) August 22, 2022
Officers On Administrative Leave As State Police Investigate The Incident
“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 Sunday in a statement posted on Facebook.
Meanwhile, the Mulberry Police Department confirmed that their officer is on administrative leave as the investigation plays out.
“The City of Mulberry and the Mulberry Police Department takes these investigations very seriously and holds all their officers accountable for their actions,” Mulberry police said.
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson similarly confirmed that state police would be investigating the incident, according to CNN.
“I have spoken with Col. Bill Bryant of the Arkansas State Police and the local arrest incident in Crawford County will be investigated pursuant to the video evidence and the request of the prosecuting attorney,” Hutchinson said in a post on Twitter.
That investigation remains ongoing as of Monday.