CRAWFORD COUNTY, ARKANSAS (WCBD) – A video showing a Lowcountry man being beaten by three Arkansas law enforcement officers is drawing national scrutiny.
State and local leaders are calling for a thorough investigation into the officers’ actions following the video’s viral circulation.
Randall Worcester is the Goose Creek man who was attacked by two Arkansas sheriff’s deputies and a police officer. One officer suffered injuries in the incident.
“Everything concerns me about this case,” said Crawford County, Arkansas Sheriff Jim Damante. “So yeah, everything about it (is concerning) and I’m looking into it.”
Worcester ended up in the hospital. Reports say it all started when Worcester spit on a store clerk and allegedly threatened them before the clerk called 9-1-1.
“Conduct that appears in the video that is circulating is not indicative of the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department,” says Sheriff Damante.
Sheriff Damante responded to criticism Monday saying the incident isn’t consistent with his agency’s training. Sheriff Damante says none of the involved officers had body cams but says dash cam provides more information than the viral video.
“When they were going to take him into custody is when he started to fight, he became violent,” says Sheriff Damante. “They admitted that they had to use force to subdue him, yes.”
Worcester is facing several charges including battery, assault, and terroristic threatening. Attorney Carrie Jernigan is representing Worcester and is calling for her client to be released or transferred.
“Our 4th amendment protects us against what you saw in that video and that is why swift action has to be taken,” says Jernigan.
Evidence in the investigation has been turned over to the FBI. The involved officers are on paid administrative leave pending an outcome of the review.
“And I hold my people accountable and I will take, I give my word I will take appropriate actions whatever they are,” says Sheriff Damante.
Arkansas’s Governor Asa Hutchinson addressed the media Monday afternoon regarding the incident saying he’s reviewing the video and has talked with Sheriff Damante. Governor Hutchinson is calling for a fair investigation