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Three Arkansas law enforcement officers are under investigation after a video emerged online of a suspect they were detaining being pinned to the ground and being viciously beaten, causing a wave of outrage.

According to reports, the officers stopped Randall Worcester of Goose Creek, South Carolina near a convenience store in the town of Mulberry on Sunday morning (August 21st). A bystander recorded the encounter between Worcester and two deputies from the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department and one officer from the Mulberry Police Department. In the 34-second clip, one of the officers is shown punching Worcester’s head repeatedly and smashing it into the pavement. Another officer is holding Worcester down on the pavement as the third is driving a knee forcefully into Worcester’s body. Worcester can be seen trying to roll himself into a ball to fend off the blows.

The video spread quickly online, amassing over a million views since it was originally shared. It sparked a huge wave of outrage from those who watched it, with many asking how this kind of behavior could occur after the tragic death of George Floyd in 2020 at the hands of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. The Crawford County Sheriff’s Department issued a statement via Facebook on Sunday evening, saying: In reference to the video circulating social media involving two Crawford County Deputies, we have requested that Arkansas State Police conduct the investigation and the Deputies have been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation.” An internal investigation has begun with the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department. Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson shared on Twitter later that evening that he spoke with the head of the Arkansas State Police concerning the investigation because of video footage.

Crawford County Sheriff Jimmy Damante stated that the officers were responding to a call alleging that Worcester was making terroristic threats to a store employee that morning, threatening to “cut off their face” and spitting on them. Worcester was booked on charges of terroristic threatening, resisting arrest, second-degree battery, trespassing, two counts of first-degree assault, criminal mischief, and being in possession of an instrument of crime, and he was then taken to an area hospital. Mulberry Police Department Chief Shannon Gregory released a statement announcing that their officer was put on administrative leave. “The city of Mulberry and the Mulberry police department takes these investigations very seriously,” Ms. Gregory said.

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