North AmericaHuman Rights

US police violence: Three Arkansas officers suspended after video captures beating

There has been an outburst of social media outrage in the US after a new video of police violence went viral, showing American cops kneeing on a man, brutally punching his face and smashing his head against cement ground in the city of Mulberry in the state of Arkansas.

The man, identified as Randall Worcester, 27, of Goose Creek, South Carolina, is seen in the video on the ground under two deputies and a police officer outside a convenience store.

The Arkansas State Police are investigating the violent incident after the video was posted.

Crawford County Sheriff’s Office said, “We have requested that Arkansas State Police conduct the investigation and the Deputies have been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation.”

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

Reports said the police were called after the suspect made threats to a convenience store employee in Mulberry.

A police officer is seen in the video repeatedly and brutally punching the shoeless man with a clenched fist, while another can be seen kneeing him, and a third is holding him down.

Worcester was sent to the hospital, and was later released and sent to a county jail.

A US social media user tweeted that, “I don’t care what that guy did. Those sadistic cops need to lose their jobs, at a minimum.”

Another tweet reads, “These cops should go to jail, potentially for the rest of their lives, and be forced to pay all of his medical bills out of their own pockets.”

Reaction has been swift from the highest levels of state government, with Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson commenting on what he only called the “arrest incident”.

“I have spoken with Col. Bill Bryant of the Arkansas State Police and the local arrest incident in Crawford County will be investigated pursuant to the video evidence and the request of the prosecuting attorney,” he said in a tweet.

Calls have been growing for US police reform after the brutal killing of George Floyd, an African-American man who died after former policeman Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 2020.

Since his death, the House of Representatives has twice passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing bill, but Senate Republicans have opposed the legislation.

The bill would implement sweeping federal reforms, including banning the use of chokeholds like the one that killed Floyd.

Floyd’s murder by the police led to national outrage about the deaths of unarmed Black Americans at the hands of US law enforcement, triggering nationwide and worldwide protests.

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