Arkansas officers charged with violent arrest caught on video

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (UKTN) — Two former Arkansas law enforcement officers face charges of civil rights violations in the violent arrest of a man outside a convenience store that was captured on video and widely shared on social media, the Justice Department said Tuesday.

The department disclosed the charges in an indictment released Tuesday against former Crawford County deputies Zack King and Levi White for the August 21 arrest of 27-year-old Randal Worcester outside a convenience store in the small town of Mulberry, about 220 kilometers away. 140 miles) northwest of Little Rock, near the Oklahoma border.

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White and King were each charged with using excessive force in the arrest by hitting Worcester multiple times while he was on the floor. A bystander filmed the encounter on a mobile phone.

No charges were announced against Mulberry police officer Thell Riddle, who was also on the video. Crawford County Sheriff Jimmy Damante fired King and White in October.

Damante has said that Worcester was questioned for threatening a clerk at a nearby convenience store and that he assaulted one of the deputies. The deputy suffered a concussion, Damante said.

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The three officers were suspended after the video came to light, and state and federal authorities launched an investigation.

Worcester filed a federal lawsuit against the officers and local officials, alleging they violated his constitutional rights during the arrest.

Police experts have said the video raises red flags about the officers’ actions, saying blows to the head amount to a potentially lethal use of force that is only justified when someone poses a current and serious threat.

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Worcester was treated at a hospital and subsequently imprisoned on charges of second-degree battery and resisting arrest. He was released the next day on $15,000 bond. Worcester’s lawsuit said he has permanent injuries and needs further medical treatment.

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