Three police officers in the US state of Arkansas have been suspended and are under investigation, authorities said, after video showing them violently beating a suspect during an arrest went viral.
The video, taken by a bystander during the incident near the city of Mulberry on Sunday, shows the three male officers punching the suspect repeatedly in the face and kneeing him while he is on the ground.
“This is bad,” a woman can be heard saying. When bystanders call out to the officers, one orders them to stay back.
It is the latest incidence of police brutality to be caught on camera and spark outrage in the United States.
Two of the officers are from Crawford County Sheriff’s Office while one is with the Mulberry Police Department.
“In reference to the video circulating social media involving two Crawford County deputies, we have requested that Arkansas State Police conduct the investigation and the deputies have been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation,” the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office said on Facebook on Sunday.
“I hold all my employees accountable for their actions and will take appropriate measures in this matter,” the statement added.
Mulberry mayor Gary Baxter said the third officer had also been placed on administrative leave and that Arkansas State Police were investigating.
The video left him “shocked and sickened,” he said in a statement on Facebook.
He promised to take the results of the investigation “very seriously” and to “take any actions necessary to insure this never happens again.”
Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson also confirmed the investigation on social media.
Local television station 40/29 News reported that the man was being detained after threatening a gas station clerk earlier on Sunday.
He initially cooperated with the officers before trying to attack them, it said. It did not say if he had been armed or not.
The suspect was taken first to hospital before being booked in to Crawford County jail and charged with a slew of offences including battery, assault and resisting arrest, the station reported.