Federal civil rights investigation into the three officers who were caught on video beating a guy begins.

On August 22, 2022, Randal Worcester leaves the Crawford County Justice Center in Van Buren, Arkansas. Associated Press hide caption

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by Andrew DeMillo for AP On August 22, 2022, Randal Worcester leaves the Crawford County Justice Center in Van Buren, Arkansas.

Federal officials announced Monday that they have opened a civil rights investigation after suspending three Arkansas law enforcement officers after a video surfaced online showing two of them hitting a man while a third officer held him down. Andrew DeMillo/AP MULBERRY, Ark.

According to authorities, the cops were dispatched in response to a report of a man allegedly making threats outside a convenience store on Sunday in the small town of Mulberry, which is located approximately 140 miles (220 kilometers) northwest of Little Rock and close to the Oklahoma border.

According to the Arkansas State Police, the department will look into the use of force. State police identified the suspect as Randal Worcester, 27, of Goose Creek, South Carolina.

The two deputies’ counsel, however, claims that Worcester assaulted one of the deputies, causing a concussion.

In the footage, one cop can be seen kneeing the suspect while another can be seen pounding the suspect with a clenched fist. He is restrained against the ground by the third cop.

Someone can be heard shouting at police to stop beating the man in the head in video taken from a neighboring automobile. Two of the officers seem to turn their heads and respond to the shouter. The footage did not clearly capture the officers’ remarks.

According to Carrie Jernigan, an attorney for Worcester, “the fight was becoming worse with those officers and you hear the woman on that video yelling and I think she could have saved his life.”

State police reported that after being brought to a hospital, he was later released and arrested in the Crawford County jail in Van Buren on several counts, including second-degree violence, resisting arrest, and making terroristic threats.

On a $15,000 bond, Worcester was freed on Monday. He responded, “all right,” when asked how he was feeling. He was led out of jail by a lawyer, who declined to speak on his behalf. As he fled the prison, Worcester was pulling a bicycle.

When The Associated Press called Worcester’s father on Monday, he chose not to respond. He gave a reporter the contact information for the family’s legal counsel. This business claimed it was still gathering data and did not immediately have a response to the video.

According to city and county officials, two Crawford County sheriff’s deputies and one Mulberry police officer have been suspended.
According to jail booking records, Worcester is white, and the three cops involved all seem to be Caucasian.

An investigation into the event has been launched, according to a Justice Department spokesperson, by the FBI’s Little Rock Field Office, the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Arkansas.

The Justice Department issued a statement stating that “the FBI and the Arkansas State Police will gather all available information and will ensure that the investigation is conducted in a fair, thorough, and unbiased way.” The continuing state inquiry is distinct from and independent of the federal investigation.

Before being detained, an officer reportedly questioned Worcester whether he carried any firearms, and Worcester said that he did, handing the officer one. What kind of weapon was unclear from Damante.

He turned violent just as they were going to take him into jail as part of their investigation of the situation, according to Damante.

The three cops were identified by the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office as Mulberry Police Officer Thell Riddle, Mulberry Deputy Zack King, and Crawford County Deputy Levi White.

Damante stated, “I hold all of my staff accountable for their deeds and will take proper action in this case.
The community and the department “take the incident very seriously,” Mulberry Police Chief Shannon Gregory said in a statement posted Sunday night.

Republican governor Asa Hutchinson discussed the Justice Department’s investigation intentions at a press conference. The officers’ actions, according to him, were “not consistent” with the lessons taught at the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy, and he called the beating “reprehensible conduct.”

Col. Bill Bryant of the Arkansas State Police said that the probe would “take some time.”
Bryant stated, “Once we get the facts and the evidence, we’ll produce a case file and a synopsis and give it to the prosecutor.”

However, White was responding to a complaint of a terrorist threat when he came across Worcester, who, according to Russell Wood, matched the complainant’s description of her attacker. Wood made this claim in an statement on Monday on behalf of the two deputies. White was initially given a bogus identity by Worcester.

Worcester “got enraged and aggressively attacked Deputy White by grabbing him by the legs, hoisting him up and body-slamming him, headfirst, on the concrete parking lot,” Wood said. This happened as White was verifying that identify. Worcester allegedly leapt upon White after White’s head struck the concrete, knocking him unconscious, and “began pounding him on the back of the head and face.”

White claimed to have seen the suspect turn his rage on King and Riddle after Worcester repeatedly struck him in the head, according to Wood. Then White “re-engaged and used all necessary force to subdue the violent suspect and detain him.”

According to Wood, White had a concussion and is still exhibiting concussion-related symptoms. The lawyer requested the release of the entire dashcam video of the incident taken by Mulberry police, but has not yet heard back.

According to Jernigan, she reported the use of excessive force against one of the suspended officers on behalf of a different client about a month ago.

“I have not received any response at this point. But the account of what transpired to my client in July and in that video seems remarkably similar “said Jernigan. We just hold the opinion that yesterday’s events were unnecessary.

Since George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis in 2020 while being apprehended by police, cellphone videos of frequently violent police contacts have drawn attention to officer behavior.

The nationwide demonstrations that followed brought attention to police violence that frequently targets Black Americans.

On Monday, the entrance to the structure housing Mulberry’s municipal hall and police department was closed. Anyone having inquiries concerning “the police investigation” were instructed to call Arkansas State Police, according to a sign on the door.

The presence of body cams on the cops remained unknown.

There has been some opposition to recording cops amid public pressure for transparency and the abundance of videos revealing police misbehavior. A law that makes it unlawful to purposefully videotape law enforcement from 8 feet (2.5 meters) or closer without authorization was approved by the governor of Arizona in July.

Mulberry is a community of 1,600 inhabitants located near Interstate 40, which connects California to North Carolina, on the southern edge of the Ozark Mountains in western Arkansas.

Truck drivers routinely stop to fill up at Kountry Xpress, the convenience shop and gas station where the beating took place. Additionally, customers purchase meals that feature American and Indian cuisine.

Cashier Shasta Morse of Kountry Xpress claims she was at work when Worcester was arrested but was unaware of it until a client informed her later.

She remarked, “It’s a little unsettling.

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