Three police officers have been suspended after a viral video out of Arkansas showed three cops repeatedly beating a man whom they had pinned on a sidewalk in broad daylight.
In the video, three cops are seen holding the man down on the sidewalk. One officer repeatedly punches the man in the head, and at one point smashes the man’s head into the cement. Another officer repeatedly knees the man, who seemingly tries to cover his head to protect himself.
“This is bad,” a voice says in the background.
Towards the end of the 34-second video, someone in the background yells, “Don't beat him! He needs his medicine!” An officer replies, “Back the fuck up!”
Arkansas State Police confirmed in a statement that two Crawford County sheriff’s deputies and one Mulberry police officer are being investigated for use of force following the violent arrest in Mulberry, Arkansas, on Sunday around 10:40 a.m.
The man had allegedly made threats at a shop in a nearby town before officers confronted him.
State police identified the man as 27-year-old Randal Worcester of Goose Creek, South Carolina. Worcester was taken to a nearby hospital for examination and treatment before he was booked at Crawford County Jail in Van Buren, Arkansas. He’s facing several charges, including resisting arrest, second-degree battery, and terroristic threatening, the statement says. It’s unknown whether Worcester suffered serious injuries.
In a statement to VICE News, Mulberry Police Chief Shannon Gregory identified one of the officers in the video as Thell Riddle. “The officer is on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation,” Gregory said.
Crawford County Sheriff’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But Crawford County Sheriff Jimmy Damante has confirmed the two deputies in the video will be suspended during the pending investigation. The county and state police are pursuing separate investigations.
The video, with millions of views, has sparked outrage online.
“How, after George Floyd, can this happen?” one Twitter user said. “Three police officers beating a suspect with so much force. If this wasn't captured on video, these officers would have told a very different story.”
Others called for the officers to be fired.
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