Three law enforcement officers in Arkansas have been suspended after graphic social media footage showed two deputies and an officer repeatedly hitting a man under arrest.
- Arkansas police say they received a report that a man had threatened a convenience store worker
- Two county deputies and a police officer were suspended after the release of social media footage showing a man being beaten
- The suspect is in hospital and faces charges of assault and threatening behaviour
Warning: This story contains graphic footage
In the video, filmed in the town of Mulberry on Sunday, three officers are seen on top of a suspect, striking him with clenched fists.
The man, named by local media as 27-year-old Randall Ray Worcester, was arrested and taken to a local hospital.
He faces charges of “terroristic threatening, resisting arrest and other assault charges”, police say.
Crawford County Sheriff Jimmy Damante said two county deputies and a police officer from the town of Mulberry have been suspended, pending investigations by state police and the sheriff’s office.
“I hold all my employees accountable for their actions, and will take appropriate measures in this matter,” Sheriff Damante said.
Mulberry Police Chief Shannon Gregory said the police officer involved in the incident is on leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson tweeted that he had spoken with Colonel Bill Bryant of the Arkansas State Police and “the local arrest incident … will be investigated pursuant to the video evidence and the request of the prosecuting attorney.”
Police said they attended a report which suggested that a man was making threats to a convenience store worker in Mulberry.
When the officers confronted the man, he pushed a deputy to the ground and punched the back of his head, leading to the arrest seen in the video, police said.
Mulberry is located about 220 kilometres north-west of the state capital, Little Rock.