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Viral video captures Arkansas officers beating man during arrest

A video involving three officers has been circulating on social media, and Arkansas State Police have now launched an investigation into the situation.

MULBERRY, Ark. — Warning: The video below contains graphic content.

Update: Reports state that the Department of Justice has now opened a federal civil rights investigation into the incident. This investigation will be separate from Arkansas State Police's investigation.

Two deputies and a police officer in Arkansas are under investigation after a video circulated online showing a violent arrest where a man was beaten by the three law enforcement officials.

The video was taken at The Kountry Xpress in Mulberry, Arkansas, and shows multiple law enforcement officers on top of the suspect that were allegedly using excessive force.

The officer and the deputies that were involved in the recording have since been identified as Mulberry officer Thell Riddle, deputy Levi White, and deputy Zack King.

The Crawford Country Sheriff's Office announced that Arkansas State Police have been requested to conduct an investigation into the incident and the two deputies involved have been suspended, on paid leave pending the outcome of the investigation, and added that they will take appropriate measures in the matter. 

The City of Mulberry said in a statement released by the police department that it takes the investigations seriously and "holds all their officers accountable for their actions."

According to Sheriff Jimmy Damante with the Crawford County Sheriff's Office, Alma police were called to the convenience store Sunday morning in regards to a man making terroristic threats to one of the employees. 

27-year-old Randall Worcester of South Carolina allegedly spat on the convenience store employee and then proceeded to make threats, and said they would "cut off their face."

Police stated that Worcester then left on a bike towards Exit 20 in Mulberry and that's where the Mulberry officer and deputies were able to catch up with him.

The conversation began in a calm and civil manner but a sheriff claimed the man then allegedly began to attack one of the deputies and pushed him into the ground while punching the back of his head. This is what lead to what is shown in the video.

Reports state that Worcester was taken to the hospital for treatment, and was released, then jailed at Van Buren.

According to Sheriff Damante, the man faces charges of terroristic threatening, resisting arrest, 2nd-degree battery, trespassing, aggravated assault, and being in possession of an instrument of crime.

When we reached out to Bill Sadler, the Public Information Officer with Arkansas State Police for a statement on the situation, he stated that "Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigations Division has opened an investigation."

The investigation by Arkansas State Police will be limited to the use of physical force by the officer and the deputies. When the investigation is complete, the case will then be submitted to the Crawford County prosecuting attorney who will be the person to determine whether or not the use of force by the officers was deemed necessary by Arkansas laws. 

Governor Asa Hutchinson made a statement on Twitter where he explained that he spoke with Col. Bill Bryant with Arkansas State Police regarding the incident and added that the video evidence will be 'investigated pursuant to the video evidence and the request of the prosecuting attorney.'

In a presser held on Monday, Governor Hutchinson described what he saw in the video as showing "reprehensible conduct." He also added that he contacted the local sheriff to make sure he had all the details, and offered the assistance of his office.

Governor Hutchinson also added that he and the state police don't plan on increasing police training, but rather to handle the situation on an individual officer basis, and early on the current regulations that were strengthened after George Floyd's murder two years ago.

 "In looking at enhanced training and what we can do more, and so there has been some adjustments....the challenge is that you can train you can train you can train. But, you know, officers have to be able to follow that training and put it into practice," said Governor Hutchinson.

We will update this article with more information as it becomes available.

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