3 Arkansas officers suspended after video captures beating

August 22, 2022 GMT

MULBERRY, Ark. (AP) — Three Arkansas law enforcement officers were suspended Sunday following social media outrage over a video that shows a suspect being held down on the ground and beaten.

Crawford County Sheriff Jimmy Damante issued a statement Sunday evening, stating two county deputies will be suspended during the course of the Arkansas state police’s investigation into the incident and the sheriff’s office’s internal investigation. A Mulberry police officer also was suspended.

“I hold all my employees accountable for their actions and will take appropriate measures in this matter,” Damante said.

In a statement released Sunday evening, Mulberry Police Chief Shannon Gregory said the officer involved in the incident is on leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

“The city of Mulberry and the Mulberry police department takes these investigations very seriously,” Gregory said.

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According to police, a report indicated that a man was making threats to a convenience store employee in Mulberry on Sunday morning. Mulberry is located about 137 miles (220.48 kilometers) northwest of Little Rock.

Police said when the officers confronted the man, he pushed a deputy to the ground and punched the back of his head, leading to the arrest seen in the video.

Three law enforcement officers are seen in the video. One can be seen punching the shoeless suspect with a clenched fist, while another can be seen kneeing him, and a third is holding him down.

The unidentified man was arrested and taken to a local hospital. He faces charges of terroristic threatening, resisting arrest and other assault charges, police said.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Sunday night on Twitter that the “incident in Crawford County will be investigated pursuant to the video evidence and the request of the prosecuting attorney.”

No further information was immediately available.