Aug 22, 2022
Video shows violent arrest by law enforcement in Arkansas Transcript
Three law enforcement officers in Arkansas have been removed from duty after a video of a violent altercation with a person being restrained outside a convenience store was posted online. Read the transcript here.
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Omar Jimenez: (00:04)
Three Arkansas law enforcement officers have been removed from duty after this video showing them hitting a man outside a store in Mulberry, Arkansas was posted to social media. The officers are seen punching and kneeing the suspect repeatedly and later arresting him. In the video a woman not seen can be heard screaming to stop beating him, telling the officers he needs his medicine. An officer points and yells at her to back up. The person who posted the video says her sister witnessed the altercation. The two Crawford County deputies were suspended and the Mulberry police officer placed on administrative leave while the incident is investigated.
Omar Jimenez: (00:44)
Police say the man in the video is 27 year old Randall Worcester of Goose Creek, South Carolina. They accuse him of threatening and spitting on a gas station attendant in a nearby town. The clerk then called the police. Worcester then rode a bike to the County Express convenience store in Mulberry, where he was arrested outside the store. One witness tells CNN affiliate KHBS it looked like the man got up to run away to avoid arrest, but the sheriff claims he got up to attack an officer.
Omar Jimenez: (01:16)
Worcester is being held the county jail on multiple charges, including first degree assault and second degree battery. It’s unclear whether he has an attorney. The Crawford County Sheriff’s Office released a statement writing, I hold all my employees accountable for their actions and will take appropriate measures in this matter. Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson tweeted, the local arrest incident in Crawford County will be investigated pursuant to the video evidence and the request of the prosecuting attorney.
Omar Jimenez: (01:45)
Now Worcester was hit with a number of charges, including assault and resisting arrests. But this is an incident that’s going to take a lot of investigation. The Sheriff’s Office says the state investigation was opened into what will be limited to the physical force used here against the officers involved. Only once that’s done could it be referred to a county prosecutor for any potential charges.
Speaker 2: (02:07)
Commissioner, thank you very much for being here. I mean, that’s the question. What’s necessary? There’s a lot we don’t know. We can’t see what happened before that video begins. However, is there any scenario in which a response like that would be proportional and necessary?
Ed Davis: (02:26)
Well good morning [inaudible 00:02:28] it’s clear from the video there was excessive force used. No matter what happened beforehand the aggressive punching and pushing the defendant’s head into the ground is just unexplainable. It’s frustrating to see something like that happen after all what’s gone on. As someone who’s been in the profession, you just wonder to yourself, when is this going to stop? But it’s also a really important lesson about body cameras. There was a study done that body cameras on police officers not only improve the officer’s conduct, but improve the conduct of the individual that they’re interacting with. So I wonder where those cameras are, why they weren’t on the officers, and if the presence of those cameras might have made a difference in this situation.
There is, as you know Ed Davis, training for officers to subdue someone that they’re trying to arrest if that person is resisting arrest. What caught my attention in particular was the repeated punching to the head and even it appeared banging his head on the pavement. I just wonder in any training that you’ve experienced, has that ever been part of the training? Is it ever part of the training to do that to subdue a suspect?
Ed Davis: (03:49)
Not in a situation like that. There can be no explanation for the vicious punching and the slamming of the defendant’s head into the ground. That particular officer has clearly acted outside the bounds of what’s right.
Ed Davis: (04:06)
What I’d like to stress is that when you have situations like this, where you have anger and you have adrenaline that is playing a role in this, the officers will do things sometimes that are outside their training. It’s not acceptable. It has to be trained out. But it’s very difficult to do that among young men who are engaged in that kind of combat situation. The punching can happen, an officer can punch people, but only if they’re being attacked at that particular time and a means in a way to defend themselves. What I saw there on the ground just was not appropriate.
Well Ed Davis, you’ve commanded police in Boston, thanks for sharing your experience with us this morning.
Ed Davis: (04:52)
Thank you, Jim.