Arkansas: three police officers suspended after video captures beating

Investigation launched after footage shows police repeatedly punching and kneeing man being held on the ground

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Three law enforcement agents from the US state of Arkansas have been suspended after a video circulated on social media showed a man being held down and beaten by police officers.

The video, posted on TikTok on Sunday, shows one officer appearing to repeatedly punch the man outside a convenience store in Mulberry, a town of about 1,600 people. A second officer can be seen kneeing the man while a third holds him down on the ground.

Authorities said the officers were responding to a man making threats outside the convenience store.

A woman not seen in the video can be heard screaming: “Don't beat him!”

One of the officers responds by saying: “Back the [expletive] up!”

Arkansas State Police said the man, Randall Worcester of South Carolina, was examined at a hospital and later jailed. He faces several charges including second-degree battery, resisting arrest, possessing an instrument of crime and second-degree assault.

Police said they had launched an investigation into the officers' conduct and that it will be limited to the “use of physical force by the deputies and police officer”.

Authorities have not released the identities of the three officers seen in the video. State police said the incident involved two sheriff's deputies from Crawford County and one Mulberry police officer.

“I hold all my employees accountable for their actions and will take appropriate measures in this matter,” Crawford County Sheriff Jimmy Damante said.

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson said the incident “will be investigated pursuant to the video evidence and the request of the prosecuting attorney”.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Updated: August 23, 2022, 6:03 AM