Three police officers have been suspended and are under investigation in the U.S. state of Arkansas. This has been said by the authorities after a video showing them violently beating a suspect during an arrest when viral.
The city of Mulberry placed a local police officer on administrative leave pending an investigation, while two deputies have been suspended by the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office two deputies, this has been said by the agencies in separate statements.
The officer’s ages or their length of service has not been disclosed by the sheriff’s office. If they have lawyers then it is not immediately clear. During the city near the city of Mulberry on Sunday the video taken by a bystander, shows three male officers punching the suspect repeatedly in the face and kneeing him while he is on the ground.
In a statement posted on the city’s Facebook account on Sunday evening Mulberry Mayor Gary Baxter said “I, like many of you, was shocked and sickened by what I saw”. He promised to take the results of the investigation very seriously and to take any actions necessary to ensure this never happens again.
Apart from this, he also said in a statement that the third officer had also been placed on administrative leave and due to this Arkansas State police were investigating. In his statement, he also said that the video left him shocked and sickened.
In the aftermath of a series of deadly incidents in various cities in recent years involving people of color, use of force in the US has been in the spotlight. The killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis was captured on cell phone video that went viral, sparking protests around the nation in June 2020.
The suspect who was being beaten appeared to be white, as were all three officers involved in the incident in Arkansas. The video in Arkansas was taken by a bystander on Sunday and shared widely on social media as well as by news networks. This showed an officer punching a suspect in the face as he held his head to the pavement while another officer kicked the man in his legs and midsection.
On the ground a third officer was seen holding the suspect down. At the bystander the video ends after one of the officers points and orders them to stop recording. On social media Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson also confirmed the investigation.
News reported by the Local television station 40/29 that the man was being detained after threatening a gas station clerk earlier on Sunday. It said, he initially cooperated with the officers before trying to attack them. If he had been armed or not he did not say.
In Mulberry the incident began when officers responded to a call to a convenience store, a community of about 1,500 that lies 130 miles northwest of Little Rock, the state capital, it had opened a use of force investigation the Arkansas State Police said in announcing.
The suspect was first taken to hospital before being booked into Crawford County Jail and charged with a slew of offenses including battery, assault and resisting arrest, the station reported.