THE THIN BLUE LINE
MULBERRY, Ark. (AP) — Three Arkansas law enforcement officers have been suspended and a state police has been investigation launched after a video posted on social media showed a suspect being held down on the ground and beaten by police.
Arkansas State Police said Sunday night that it would investigate the use of force by the officers earlier in the day outside a convenience store in Mulberry, about 140 miles (220 kilometers) northwest of Little Rock.
Two Crawford County sheriff’s deputies and one Mulberry police officer were suspended Sunday, city and county authorities said. The officers were responding to a report of a man making threats outside the convenience store, authorities said. That man was identified as Randall Worcester.
The expletive-ridden video, which was shared widely on social media, showed three officers pinning the suspect, Randall Worcester, a 27-year-old from Goose Creek, S.C., on the ground in a parking lot. One of them punched Worcester in the head repeatedly, as a person recording from a nearby car gasped, saying, “Oh … this is bad.”
Another officer who was holding down Worcester’s legs repeatedly struck him with his knee. The officer holding Worcester’s head grabbed him by his hair and bashed his head onto the ground.
A bystander called out to the officers, admonishing them for beating Worcester. One of the officers — who had moved to strike his knee into Worcester — replied, “Back … up.” Another yelled at the bystander to “shut the fuck up”.
The incident started at a gas station in Alma. The sheriff said Worcester threatened a clerk there, who called the police. Police issued a “be on the lookout.” The man left the gas station and rode his bike to the Kountry Xpress, where a deputy spotted him, Damante said.
According to police, the suspect was cooperative. Then, he turned violent and tried to attack the officers. That’s when they pinned him down, and where the video picks up.
According to Arkansas State Police, the man being arrested in the video is Randall Worcester, 27, of Goose Creek, South Carolina. Worcester was 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.