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Names of 3 officers released in Arkansas beating video

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Aug 23, 2022 - 07:08 AM

HOUSTON, Texas (AA) – Officials in the US state of Arkansas on Monday named the three law enforcement officers involved in the beating of a suspect during an arrest that was caught on video.

The Crawford County Sheriff’s Department identified the two officers from their agency as deputies Zack King and Levi White. The two men have been suspended pending both state and federal investigations.

The other law enforcement officer was identified as Thell Riddle of the Mulberry Police Department who has been placed on administrative leave.

“We condemn all violence against…any civilian or any…person being detained by the sheriff’s office,” said Crawford County Sheriff Jimmy Damante at a news conference.

He said their actions are “not indicative of the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department or any law enforcement agency in this area.”

The 34-second video posted on social media was recorded by a bystander Sunday. It shows two officers punching and kneeing the suspect, Randal Worcester, 27, of South Carolina.

“That is reprehensible conduct in which a suspect is beat in that fashion,” said Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson during a news conference. “That response was not consistent with the training that they receive as certified officers with the Arkansas law enforcement training academy.”

In the video, one of the officers throws punches at Worcester’s face, then lifts his head and slams it into the pavement. The other officer is seen kneeing the suspect in the side and back.

A woman who does not appear on the video is heard saying, “Don’t beat him! He needs his medicine!”

One of the officers responds, “Back the f**k up!”

Damante said if the video hadn’t been posted online, he probably would not have known about the incident.

None of the officers was wearing a body camera, but Damante said the Mulberry officer had a dashboard camera on his squad car, which provided details on how the scuffle began.

“The dash cam does bring to light other things that did happen there…that initiated, that wasn’t caught on the citizen’s camera,” he continued.

Worcester is charged with second-degree battery, resisting arrest, possessing an instrument of crime, criminal trespass, criminal mischief, terroristic threatening and first- and second-degree assault. He is being held on $15,000 bail.

Arkansas State Police have taken over the investigation. The FBI is also investigating the circumstances of the beating video.

“This is not what our law enforcement community represents,” said Hutchinson. “It’s not the proper response, and they will be reviewed and appropriate action taken.”

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