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Arkansas Officers Charged In Violent Arrest Caught on Video

Two former Arkansas law enforcement officers were charged with civil rights violations in the violent arrest of a man outside a convenience store that was caught on video and widely shared on social media. Former Crawford County sheriff’s deputies Zack King and Levi White are charged with using excessive force by hitting Randal Worcester multiple times while he was on the ground during an Aug. 21 arrest, reports Associated Press. A bystander recorded the arrest in the small town of Mulberry, near the border with Oklahoma. The two former deputies pleaded not guilty during an initial court appearance Tuesday after the indictment was unsealed. An attorney for the former deputies, Russell Woods, said his clients deny the allegations. Charges were not announced against Mulberry police officer Thell Riddle, who was also seen on the video, Former Crawford County Sheriff Jimmy Damante fired King and White in October. Damante has said Worcester, 27, of Goose Creek, S.C., was being questioned for threatening a clerk at a nearby convenience store and that he attacked one of the deputies. The deputy suffered a concussion.

The three officers were suspended after the video came to light, and state and federal authorities launched investigations. The state’s criminal investigation remains active, said Emily White, the state special prosecutor assigned to the case. Worcester filed a federal lawsuit against the officers and local officials, saying they violated his constitutional rights during the arrest. Rachel Bussett, an attorney for Worcester, said she was pleased the two had been arrested. White and King, who had been taken into custody by U.S. Marshals and the FBI, were released on bond Tuesday. A judge set an April 3 trial date. Policing experts have said the video raises red flags about the officers’ actions, saying that blows to the head amount to a potentially deadly use of force that’s justified only when someone poses a current. serious threat. Worcester was treated at a hospital then jailed on charges including second-degree battery and resisting arrest. Worcester’s lawsuit said he has permanent injuries and will need continued medical treatment.


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