Arkansas Deputies Arrested After Punching And Kicking Suspect
Video posted online showed 27-year-old Randal Worcester being beaten by two law enforcement officers while a third held him down.
Federal officials have launched a civil rights investigation into the violence against 27-year-old Randal Worcester of Goose Creek, South Carolina, which was caught on camera by a bystander. On Aug. 21, 2022, video surfaced that showed Worcester being severely beaten by two law enforcement officers while a third one held him down, reported NPR.
In the 34-second video, Worcester is shown being repeatedly punched on the head as he’s beaten on the ground outside the Kountry Xpress market in Mulberry, Arkansas. One of the officers is shown lifting the victim’s head and pounding it into the parking lot pavement.
At one point, a bystander called out for them to stop hitting the man in the head, and a police officer ordered the person who was filming the violence to stop recording.
According to NPR, Carrie Jernigan, an attorney for Worcester, stated, "The fight was escalating with those officers, and you hear that woman on that video yelling and whoever that is, I think she could have saved his life.”
The Crawford County Sheriff's Office revealed that the three law enforcement officials who were involved are Deputy Zack King, Deputy Levi White, and Mulberry Officer Thell Riddle. They have been removed from duty and are suspended with pay, reported CNN.
Police had originally been called to the scene in response to reports of a man making threats. NBC News reported that Worcester was hospitalized for injuries and then jailed. He faces multiple charges, including second-degree battery and resisting arrest.
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson called what the responding officers did "reprehensible conduct." He added, "That response was not consistent with the training that they receive. This is not what our law enforcement community represents. It's not the proper response."
“I hope they burn,” Eric Wedding, Worcester’s stepdad who helped raise him from the age of three, told the Daily Beast after the video went viral. He noted that the case must be highlighted by the media, adding, “Enough is enough.”