Three police officers in Arkansas have been suspended pending an investigation into their recent conduct. On Sunday morning, two officers from the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department and one from the Mulberry Police Department arrested a man suspected of a variety of crimes.
The three officers were caught on video roughly and repeatedly hitting the man, Randall Worcester, 27, who was already in handcuffs. Users on social media were outraged upon seeing the video depicting the three men brutally beating a detained black man who can be seen facedown throughout the recording.
In a public statement, the police department noted its investigation “will be limited to the use of physical force by the deputies and police officer.”
The Crawford County Sheriff’s Department publicly stated that it would suspend the two officers involved in the beating and would investigate their use of force. Likewise, Mulberry Police Department placed its officer on administrative leave while the investigation is ongoing. The video of the three officers roughly attacking an incapacitated Worcester went viral, with many users saying the extreme use of force was infuriating.
As the clip goes on, a woman can be heard screaming at the three officers to stop hitting the man, who is in no position to defend himself or resist their repeated strikes. The officers can then be heard telling people to back up and pointing at the person filming the attack. The police contend that Worcester was violent upon being placed under arrest, but the video shows that he was completely incapacitated by the time they began striking him repeatedly.
The police departments noted that Worcester was arrested and 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. They argue that he was initially cooperative with the arrest but became violent and even injured one of the arresting officers in a brief altercation that doesn’t appear in the viral video.
Arkansas State Police told reporters that they would investigate the officers’ use of force in the incident and hand over any findings to the county. “Upon completion of the investigation, the case file will be submitted to the Crawford County prosecuting attorney who will determine whether the use of force by the law enforcement officers was consistent with Arkansas laws,” the police stated.