The Charlotte Observer
A police officer and two deputies shown in a viral video beating a man during an arrest have been pulled from active duty, Arkansas authorities say.
The video was captured on Sunday, Aug. 21, in Mulberry, where a Mulberry police officer and two Crawford County sheriff’s deputies were investigating an incident involving 27-year-old Randall Worcester, according to Arkansas State Police.
Worcester, who troopers say is from Goose Creek, South Carolina, had allegedly threatened a worker at a convenience store and spat in the employee’s face, KARK reported. The suspect left on a bike before being caught by the officer and deputies, according to KTHV.
The suspect is shown in the video being pinned to the ground, while one cop punched him in the head repeatedly before later slamming his head to the ground. Another cop kneed Worcester in the leg area, video shows.
The officer and deputies appear to stop beating Worcester when they realize they are being filmed.
Worcester was taken to a hospital and later released, state police said. He was jailed and faces charges of second-degree battery, resisting arrest, refusal to submit, possessing an instrument of crime, criminal trespass, criminal mischief, terroristic threatening and second-degree assault, according to state police.
The names of the officer and deputies involved have not been released as of Aug. 22. Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said the incident “will be investigated pursuant to the video evidence and the request of the prosecuting attorney.”
The Crawford County Sheriff’s Office and the Mulberry Police Department released similar statements, in which they mentioned the cops involved have been suspended or placed on administrative leave as state police investigates.
“I hold all my employees accountable for their actions and will take appropriate measures in this matter,” Sheriff James Damante said in the statement posted to Facebook.
“The City of Mulberry and the Mulberry Police Department take these investigations very seriously and hold all their officers accountable,” the Mulberry statement read. “We will take the appropriate actions at the conclusion of the investigation.”
After state police completes its investigation, the case will be sent to the Crawford County prosecuting attorney, who will determine whether the force used by the officers was justifiable.
Mulberry is about 135 miles northwest of Little Rock.