The Arkansas State Police has announced the opening of an investigation into the excessive use of force by three officers against an individual arrested this Sunday after being involved in an incident in a convenience store (a scenario similar to that of the arrest and murder of George Floyd in May 2020 in Minneapolis). The video with the recording of the beating immediately went viral on social networks and, late on Sunday, the authorities took action on the matter, removing the three agents from service and ordering the investigation.
While two officers beat him — including bouncing the subject’s head several times on the sidewalk — and the third helped to immobilize him, the detainee, a 27-year-old man, did his best to avoid the blows. He had been arrested a few minutes before, accused of second-degree assault and unspecified terrorist threat, in the store he had just visited, whose employee he threatened and from which he fled a few meters by bike, until the police caught up with him. After the beating, the umpteenth example of police brutality in recent years, the young man, who also resisted the authority, was taken to the hospital and later imprisoned.
The event occurred in the town of Mulberry and was captured by a local journalist with his mobile phone. He was immediately uploaded by a user to the TikTok social network, who removed him from the platform shortly after. But the viralization of the document did not stop, becoming a trend late on Sunday. The sequence in which one of the agents grabs the subject’s head and hits it on the ground provoked an angry response from Internet users.
The state police investigation will be limited to the use of physical force by the police, the department has warned, which will then forward the information to the county attorney in case the facts constitute a crime. The police brutality casesdirected above all against African Americans, Latinos and members of other minorities, have multiplied in recent years, with more media coverage than before since the murder of Floyd in 2020, which caused the largest wave of racial protests in the country since the time of Martin Luther King.
Floyd, whose agony over almost nine minutes was recorded on video by a passerby, became a symbol of the Black Lives Matter mobilization (Black lives matter), which during 2020 toured the US and many cities abroad. Floyd’s case, like that of the murder of the also African-American Breonna Taylor at her home on a drug registry, has contributed to expand accountability to the security forces and fueled the debate on the racism of the institutions.
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