Arkansas officers charged in violent arrest caught on video

Jan 23, 2023, 11:29 PM | Updated: Jan 24, 2023, 4:19 pm
FILE - Randal Worcester departs from the Crawford County, Ark., Justice Center in Van Buren, Ark., ...

FILE - Randal Worcester departs from the Crawford County, Ark., Justice Center in Van Buren, Ark., Aug. 22, 2022. Two former Arkansas law enforcement officers are charged with civil rights violations in the violent arrest of Worcester outside a convenience store that was caught on video and widely shared on social media, the Justice Department said Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023. (AP Photo/Andrew DeMillo, File)

(AP Photo/Andrew DeMillo, File)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Two former Arkansas law enforcement officers are charged with civil rights violations in the violent arrest of a man outside a convenience store that was caught on video and widely shared on social media, the U.S. Justice Department announced Tuesday.

Former Crawford County sheriff’s deputies Zack King and Levi White are charged with using excessive force by hitting Randal Worcester multiple times while he was on the ground during an Aug. 21 arrest. A bystander used a cellphone to record the arrest in the small town of Mulberry, about 140 miles (220 kilometers) northwest of Little Rock, near the border with Oklahoma.

The two former deputies pleaded not guilty during an initial court appearance Tuesday afternoon, after the indictment against them was unsealed. An attorney for the former deputies, Russell Woods, said his clients deny the allegations.

If convicted, each deputy faces up to 10 years in prison.

Charges were not announced against Mulberry police officer Thell Riddle, who was also on the video. Former Crawford County Sheriff Jimmy Damante fired King and White in October.

The current sheriff, Daniel Perry, declined to comment on the charges.

Damante has said Worcester, 27, of Goose Creek, South Carolina, was being questioned for threatening a clerk at a nearby convenience store and that he attacked one of deputies. The deputy suffered a concussion, Damante has said.

The three officers were suspended after the video came to light, and state and federal authorities launched investigations. The state’s criminal investigation remains open and active, said Emily White, the state special prosecutor assigned to the case.

Worcester filed a federal lawsuit against the officers and local officials, saying they violated his constitutional rights during the arrest. Rachel Bussett, an attorney for Worcester, said she was pleased the two had been arrested.

“Now they’re just going to have to go through the court process,” Bussett said.

White and King, who had been taken into custody by U.S. Marshals and the FBI, were released on bond Tuesday. A judge set an April 3 trial date for the men.

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

Worcester was treated at a hospital then jailed on charges including second-degree battery and resisting arrest. He was released the following day on a $15,000 bond. Worcester’s lawsuit said he has permanent injuries and will need continued medical treatment.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Pradnya Jagdale, a former Jackson abortion clinic escort, stands with a small group of protestors b...
Associated Press

In mostly abortion-free Mississippi, court battle continues

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A physicians’ group based in the Midwest lacks legal standing to challenge a 25-year-old Mississippi Supreme Court ruling recognizing a right to abortion under the state constitution, lawyers for six women who support abortion rights argued in court papers filed Friday. “This case was brought by an out-of-state organization that obviously […]
1 day ago
U.S. Second Gentleman, Douglas Emhoff, speaks to the press as he visits to the Oskar Schindler Enam...
Associated Press

Emhoff says somber Auschwitz visit key to antisemitism work

KRAKOW, Poland (AP) — Doug Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, described being deeply moved by a “solemn and sad” visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau, and said Saturday that it was an important part of his work combating antisemitism for the Biden administration. Emhoff told reporters that he will never forget his emotional visit to […]
1 day ago
This photo provided by the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra shows new conductor Matthew Kraemer, wh...
Associated Press

Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra gets new music director

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — For 17 seasons the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra has been under the musical direction of Carlos Miguel Prieto. That changes this summer when conductor Matthew Kraemer takes the reigns. The orchestra’s Board of Trustees recently announced that Kramer will take over in July and make his official introduction to music lovers in […]
1 day ago
FILE -Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., speaks during a news conference in Statuary Ha...
Associated Press

Inside McCarthy’s House: Famous friends and hard realities

WASHINGTON (AP) — In an almost forgotten slice of marbled real estate at the Capitol, the Kevin McCarthy era is taking shape in Congress. It was here that the new House speaker was chatting last week with Donald Trump Jr. on the former president’s son’s podcast, their laughter spilling into the halls from behind closed […]
1 day ago
A migrant from Michoacan, Mexico, uses the CBPOne app Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023, in Tijuana, Mexico. A...
Associated Press

Online system to seek asylum in US is quickly overwhelmed

TIJUANA, Mexico (AP) — Hours before sunrise, migrants at one of Mexico’s largest shelters wake up and go online, hoping to secure an appointment to try to seek asylum in the U.S. The daily ritual resembles a race for concert tickets when online sales begin for a major act, as about 100 people glide their […]
1 day ago
FILE- Members of the Independent Higher Authority for Elections count the votes one day after the p...
Associated Press

Challenge for Tunisian democracy: Getting voters to show up

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Tunisia was once the Arab world’s hope for a new era of democracy. Now it’s in the midst of an election that’s more of an embarrassment than a model. Barely 11% of voters turned out in the first round of parliamentary elections last month, boycotted by opposition Islamists and ignored by […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Arkansas officers charged in violent arrest caught on video