Three Arkansas police officers have been suspended after a disturbing video of them viciously beating what appears to be an already subdued suspect emerged on social media.
“Oh sh*t! This is bad!” the woman filming the incident from inside her car can be heard gasping.
The TikTok video was posted on Twitter and shows two Crawford Country cops and one officer from Mulberry PD throwing punches to the man’s head and dropping brutal knee jabs to his torso. The officer punching the suspect in the head is also seen striking the man in the head with his knee and at one point appears to slam his head into the concrete pavement.
Warning: Violent Content
Crawford sheriff dept Arkansas pic.twitter.com/KZAmwzwwmV
— Naomi Johnson (@NaomiRHelm) August 21, 2022
According to CBS affiliate THV11, the South Carolina suspect identified as 27-year-old Randall Worcester allegedly spat on and then threatened to “cut off” the face of a convenience store employee when Alma police were called to the scene.
Worcester reportedly fled toward Exit 20 in Mulberry on a bicycle.
When the officers caught up to him at The Kountry Xpress in Mulberry, the encounter began with a calm discussion. That changed, said a sheriff, when Worcester allegedly attacked one of the deputies, pushed him to the ground and began punching the back of his head.
What was captured on video is the aftermath of the suspect’s aggression, according to police.
Worcester now faces charges of terroristic threatening, resisting arrest, 2nd-degree battery, trespassing, aggravated assault, and being in possession of an instrument of crime, according to Crawford Country Sheriff Jimmy Damante.
In a statement on Facebook, Damante called on state police to open an 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,” he said. “I hold all my employees accountable for their actions and will take appropriate measures in this matter.”
The Mulberry Police Department issued a similar Facebook statement.
“The City of Mulberry Police Department is aware of the video circulating on social media involving one of our officers,” it reads. “The Arkansas State Police have been asked to investigate the incident. The officer is on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. 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.”
Three hours later, the mayor of Mulberry, Gary Baxter, issued a statement of his own, assuring residents that the results of the investigations will be taken “very seriously” and “will be taking any actions necessary to insure this never happens again.”
And Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson took to Twitter to release his statement on the incident.
“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,” he wrote.
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.
— Gov. Asa Hutchinson (@AsaHutchinson) August 22, 2022
THV11 spoke to Arkansas State Police Public Information Officer Bill Sadler who confirmed that “Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigations Divisions has opened an investigation.”
According to the news station, the “investigation by Arkansas State Police will be limited to the use of physical force by the officer and the deputies. When the investigation is complete, the case will then be submitted to the Crawford County prosecuting attorney who will be the person to determine whether or not the use of force by the officers was deemed necessary by Arkansas laws. “
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