- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 21, 2022

Three Arkansas law enforcement officers were suspended Sunday pending an investigation over a viral video in which they appear to hit a suspect they are arresting.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson said the Arkansas State Police is investigating the arrest in Crawford County, which is in the state’s northwest corner and borders Oklahoma.

The video shows three officers — two from the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office, one from the Mulberry Police Department — on top of the suspect, who is on the ground.

One of the officers can be seen punching the suspect in the head several times and slamming the suspect’s head against the pavement. Another officer knees the suspect in the lower rear of his body and appears to kick the suspect.

The third officer attempts to restrain the man during the arrest.

Authorities said they received a report about a man making threats to a convenience store employee in Mulberry on Sunday morning. When responding officers confronted the man, the suspect pushed a deputy to the ground and punched the deputy in the back of his head, police said.

The suspect was arrested and taken to a hospital. Police said they charged him with terroristic threatening, resisting arrest and other assault charges.

“I hold all my employees accountable for their actions and will take appropriate measures in this matter,” Crawford County Sheriff Jim Damante said Sunday in a Facebook post.

“The City of Mulberry and the Mulberry Police Department takes these investigations very seriously and holds all their officers accountable for their actions,” Mulberry police said Sunday in a separate Facebook post. “We will take the appropriate actions at the conclusion of the investigation.”

The City of Mulberry also posted a letter from Mayor Gary Baxter in which he said, “I, like many of you, was shocked and sickened by what I saw.” The mayor said that once the investigation is complete, the city will “take any actions necessary to ensure this never happens again.”

• This article is based in part on wire service reports.

• Matt Delaney can be reached at mdelaney@washingtontimes.com.

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