Two former Arkansas law enforcement officers have been charged with civil rights offenses in the August 2022 beating of Randal Worcester, who was already restrained on the ground outside a gas station when they used excessive force that was caught on video.
Crawford County, Arkansas Sheriff's Deputies Levi White and Zackary King hit Worcester multiple times as he lay on the ground, according to a grand jury that returned a two-count indictment against the men.
Video of the arrest shows White and King repeatedly striking Worcester, even slamming his head on the pavement and kneeing him several times.
King and White pleaded not guilty during their joint court appearance this week. Charges were not announced against another officer, Thell Riddle, who was also featured in the video.
A bystander caught the assault on video which you can see for yourself below.
WARNING: This video may be disturbing for some viewers.
Police said on the day of the attack they were responding to a report that Worcester made "terroristic threats" to a clerk at a nearby convenience store. They also said Worcester attacked one of the deputies outside.
But according to a federal civil rights lawsuit filed in August, Worcester said he was riding his bicycle back to his home in Goose Creek, South Carolina—900 miles away—where he is temporarily living. It is unclear how Worcester arrived in Arkansas.
Worcester's attorney Rachel Bussett said Worcester was taking a bicycle trip at the time of the attack and that on the day it took place he'd stopped at the gas station and asked for water but that the clerk had angrily told him to leave.
Bussett said Worcester is "very happy" with the news that King and White have been charged, adding that he "is grateful to see that the Department of Justice is pursuing charges against the officers."
Many have condemned the officers' actions.
Russell Woods, an attorney for White and King, said his clients deny the allegations listed in the indictment and look forward to disproving them at trial.
If convicted, the two face up to ten years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.
They are officially charged with deprivation of rights under color of law for infringing on Worcester's constitutional right to be "free from the use of unreasonable force by a law enforcement officer," according to court documents.