Updated Aug 22, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Arkansas officers suspended after video of arrest emerges

Illustration of a police badge, with yellow and black stripes overlaid on it.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Three law enforcement officers in Crawford County, Arkansas, were suspended Sunday after video emerged online of a man apparently being beaten during an arrest, per AP.

The latest: Arkansas State Police confirmed late Sunday it's investigating the arrest of the man, whom they identified as Randall Worcester, 27, of Goose Creek, South Carolina.

  • Worcester was taken to a local hospital for treatment before being "released and jailed at Van Buren," according to a state police statement posted late Sunday.
  • The statement did not disclose what Worcester was treated for at the hospital, but said he has been 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.

The big picture: Three officers in the video appear to be on top of Worcester and hitting him during the arrest in Mulberry, 137 miles northwest of Little Rock.

  • Police said the man was making threats to a convenience store employee in Mulberry on Sunday morning and when officers confronted him, he pushed a deputy to the ground and punched the back of his head, AP reports.

What they're saying: Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson tweeted that the incident "will be investigated pursuant to the video evidence and the request of the prosecuting attorney."

  • Crawford County Sheriff Jimmy Damante said in a statement Sunday that two deputies had been suspended in connection with the video.
  • "I hold all my employees accountable for their actions and will take appropriate measures in this matter," Damante said.

Meanwhile, Mulberry Police Chief Shannon Gregory said an officer had been placed on leave "pending the outcome of the investigation," per AP.

What we're watching: Authorities did not immediately identify the three suspended officers.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with comment from Arkansas State Police.

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