Three law enforcement officers have been taken off duty following the viral surge of an online video.
This week, footage of cops subduing a man outside an Arkansas convenience store garnered national attention due to its brutal appearance.
The 34-second clip shows Crawford County Sheriff’s Deputies Zack King and Levi White — along with Mulberry Officer Thell Riddle — on top of 27-year-old South Carolina resident Randall Worcester.
The officers are seen repeatedly kneeing the suspect and punching him in the head. At one point, a patrolman raises Randall by the hair and slams his skull into the pavement.
[Warning: Language and Violence]
Crawford sheriff dept Arkansas
Can you say police brutally. Absolutely no reason for 3 officers to beat the living hell out this man. 3 cops beating this dude bc they have a badge.
— ExploringWithLeage (@CanBeOnly1Leage) August 22, 2022
As relayed by ABC News, a probe is underway:
Federal authorities said Monday they have started a civil rights investigation following the suspension of three Arkansas law enforcement officers after a video posted on social media showed two of them beating a man while a third officer held him on the ground.
Reportedly, Randall had been making threats:
The officers were responding to a report of a man making threats outside a convenience store Sunday in the small town of Mulberry, about 140 miles (220 kilometers) northwest of Little Rock, near the border with Oklahoma, authorities said.
Near the end of the video, a bystander yells for the cops to stop. One officer shouts what sounds like “Back the f*** up!”
Randall’s attorney, Carrie Jernigan, claims he’s a victim of nearly-deadly force:
“The fight was escalating with those officers, and you hear that woman on that video yelling and whoever that is, I think she could have saved his life.”
Last month, Carrie filed an excessive force complaint against one of the involved policemen on behalf of another client.
Randall was taken to the hospital and then booked into the Crawford County Jail. His charges include second-degree battery, resisting arrest, and making terroristic threats.
Worcester was released Monday on $15,000 bond. When asked how he was feeling, he said “all right.” An attorney who escorted him from jail declined to comment on his behalf. Worcester was pushing a bicycle as he left the jail.
The civil rights investigation was opened by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Arkansas, the FBI’s Little Rock Field Office, and the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.
A DOJ statement promises justice:
“The FBI and the Arkansas State Police will collect all available evidence and will ensure that the investigation is conducted in a fair, thorough, and impartial manner. The federal investigation is separate and independent from the ongoing state investigation.”
Crawford County Sheriff Jimmy Damante has vowed, “I hold all my employees accountable for their actions and will take appropriate measures in this matter.”
According to Mulberry Police Chief Shannon Gregory, the incident is being taken “very seriously.”
ABC notes Gov. Asa Hutchinson has commented, too:
[H]utchinson, a Republican…described the beating as “reprehensible conduct” and said the officers’ actions were “not consistent” with the teachings of the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy.
Reportedly, Randall did have a weapon:
Crawford County Sheriff Jimmy Damante said before Worcester was arrested, an officer asked if he had any weapons on him, and he handed one over to the officer. Damante didn’t specify what type of weapon.
“They were about to take him into custody because of part of their investigation on the scene — that’s when he became violent,” Damante said.
As a civilian viewing the half-minute of brutality, I find it difficult to imagine the length and severity of the violence being justified — particularly since the initial reason for the encounter was “threats.”
It’s currently unclear as to whether the officers were wearing body cameras.
On CNN, retired NYPD detective and law enforcement consultant Tom Verni offered to play “devil’s advocate”:
“[W]hen someone is resisting arrest, and they are refusing to comply with the police, what happens is that escalates that situation to where now police have to amp up their level of force from verbal commands to some level or varying levels of physical force, or other levels.”
Anchor Jim Sciutto asked whether head-bashing is a tactic “taught in any police training.”
“That specific tactic of banging someone’s head in the ground? No.”
However, he added, “If you’re in a fight for your life, you use whatever force is necessary to make sure you can escape from that incident unscathed, or as unscathed as possible.”
Will this case rise to the prominence of select officer-involved instances over the past few years? That will likely be determined by whether forthcoming details offer political hooks.
Meanwhile, Crawford Deputies Zack King and Levi White have been suspended; Mulberry Officer Thell Riddle has been placed on administrative leave.
See more content from me:
‘Exhausted’ and Trauma-Torn TikTok Teacher Tells White People to Stop Making the World Unsafe
Princeton Course Claims the ‘Far Right’ Abuses Liberty to ‘Justify Hate Speech’
WATCH: Alabama Off-Duty Cop Barely Escapes Murderous Attack in His Front Yard
Find all my RedState work here.
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