Arkansas cops suspended after graphic video shows them allegedly beating suspect into pavement

Arkansas cops suspended after graphic video shows them allegedly beating suspect into pavement
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Three local Arkansas law enforcement officers have been suspended or placed on leave after a bystander’s video went viral on Sunday, showing the men allegedly beating a suspect who was later charged with a litany of offenses, including resisting arrest and terroristic threatening.

Two Crawford County sheriff’s deputies and one Mulberry, Arkansas police officer have been suspended. The Arkansas State Police have been called to investigate.

“The Crawford County Sheriff’s Department identified the man who was arrested as Randal Worcester of Goose Creek, S.C., and said he was charged with second-degree battery, resisting arrest, terroristic threatening, second-degree assault and other charges. The nature of his injuries was not immediately clear, but the Arkansas State Police said he was treated at a hospital and released,” The New York Times reports.

Multiple copies of the video, including ones that have been enlarged, appear to show one officer holding the suspect by his hair and repeatedly punching his head, and at least at one point pounding his head against the pavement. Two other officers appear to be holding the man down as one of them repeatedly pounds his knee into the man.

This version, which has been enlarged and has no audio, has been viewed over 8 million times in just 18 hours. It was posted by KARK4 News breaking news anchor Mitchell McCoy.

(Warning: graphic)

On social media McCoy shares what appears to be information from the police.

“Crawford Co. Sheriff’s Office: Store clerk in nearby town called police after Worcester allegedly spat in their face & made threats. Deputies then found him in Mulberry. Sheriff’s Office says he was cooperative at first but things took a turn and he apparently injured an officer.”

The Arkansas Times posted this version, which includes comments from those who filmed the alleged assault.

“The woman who filmed it sent it to her sister, Naomi Johnson, who shared it on social media,” the Arkansas Times notes.

“Johnson, who lives in Oklahoma, said her sister was too upset to talk yet about the incident, but she shared what her sister had told her,” the Arkansas Times explains. “A shoeless man was sitting on the curb and talking with law enforcement officers when she arrived at the gas station, Johnson said her sister reported. The man stood up like he was going to run away, and the officers tackled him. Johnson said her sister thought the man seemed to be in mental distress.”

“Johnson’s sister and her friend who was in the car with her can be heard yelling at the officers to stop. While the audio is difficult to make out, it sounds like one officer yells at her to ‘Back the fuck up,’ and another tells her to get back in her car.”

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