MULBERRY, Ark. (AP) — Three Arkansas law enforcement officers were suspended Sunday following social media outrage over a video that seemingly showed two deputies and an officer striking a suspect under arrest.
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.
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. In the video, the three law enforcement officers are seen on top of the suspect, sometimes striking him with clenched fists.
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.
No further information was immediately available.