Pattern of abuse? Three Residents Accuse Arkansas Deputy Cop Video Of Assault – Rolling Stone
For those who live in Crawford County, Arkansas, the news over the weekend was horrific. Sunday, a swearing video surface of two Crawford County sheriff’s deputies and a Mulberry police officer using brute force against Randal Worcester, a South Carolina man traveling through Arkansas. Some in the area say it was not unexpected behavior on the part of Deputy Levi White, who the Sheriff’s Department identified as one of three officers appearing to have beaten the man on the disturbing band. These residents say the recent incident is not White’s only violent offense.
Christina, a local woman who asked for her last name to be withheld, says rolling stone that one of his family members had two altercations with White – who has been suspended and furloughed since last weekend’s incident – over the course of two years, both of which resulted in alleged physical abuse.
“I do not say [my family member] is a saint, but… [they] didn’t deserve to be beaten,” says Christina. About a year and a half ago, Christina says the family member, who “likes to drive fast”, encountered White while he was driving too fast and was pulled over. According to Christina, who saw the family member immediately after the incident, White had “blacked out [the family member’s] eye.” The individual told him that White “rammed into [their] head in the ground” during this arrest.
About a year later, Christina said, the individual was at a gas station, saw White there and started running. Christina says she saw and spoke with the family member shortly after the incident and they knew they ‘should have stopped’ but didn’t because they were afraid to meet White again.
The family member was apprehended. “Levi came out of nowhere and just grabbed [them] from behind the neck and slammed [them] down and started hitting [them]”, Christina claims her family member later told her. She saw the family member shortly after the alleged incident and says it ended with marks on the person’s head and on the side of her face. She and the family member consider taking legal action.
Two others said they too had experienced excessive force in recent weeks from White. At a press conference on Tuesday, two local residents, Teddy Wallace and Tammy Nelson (who is identified as Tammy Parker on Facebook), each shared stories of alleged violent encounters with White.
Carrie Jerrigan, an attorney for Wallace, alleged he was shocked and beaten with a baton when he was arrested in Crawford County about a month ago and that White was involved, NBC’s 5News reports. Wallace said he was hit in the head with a truncheon and suffered bruising to his legs and arms.
In the same segment, as well as lengthy Facebook posts, Nelson said White became physically aggressive after he began videotaping her when he responded to her home in a ‘civil matter’ involving his neighbor. Nelson alleges that White grabbed her by the arm and swung her, which forced her to drop the phone. Once on the ground, she claims White put his arm around her neck and knelt her to the side. “I felt disrespected and violated because he was above me,” Nelson told the station in tears. He would then “pull” her to her feet. She says she asked why she was arrested and he didn’t answer. (The station reported that she told them she was charged with harassment and obstructing government operations.)
White’s attorney, Russell Wood, denies Nelson’s accusations against his client. “There are always people coming out of the woodwork when there is media coverage of the police,” Wood said in a statement to rolling stone Tuesday afternoon. “The Tammy Nelson (Parker?) incident has been thoroughly investigated by the Sheriff’s Department and found to be totally unfounded.” He said “Deputy White had no knowledge” of Christina’s claims about a family member and said Wallace’s allegations were “fake news”. White does not and did not even have a Taser.
In a lengthy statement on the original video showing police beating Worcester last weekend, Wood said there was another full, unedited video that has not been released and that White was ‘violently attacked’ by the suspect. “Such a violent suspect cannot be allowed to stand unrestrained and all necessary force is authorized to arrest this type of violent suspect. The degree of force permitted by law is always relative to the offense committed by the suspect,” added Wood.
rolling stoneAttempts to reach the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department for comment were unsuccessful. Following the incident Sunday night, Crawford County Sheriff Jimmy Damante said in a statement via 40/29 News, “I hold all of my employees accountable for their actions and will take appropriate action in this regard. regard.”
In addition to allegations made by Nelson, Wallace and Christina following the weekend’s videotaped incident in Crawford County, rolling stone learned that White also allegedly covered up his superior’s abuse during a federal investigation into police brutality by former Sheriff Anthony Boen in neighboring Franklin County. (White was reportedly not implicated in the underlying allegations against Boen.) In the case, Boen was found guilty of two counts of deprivation of rights under the law related to the use of force. unreasonable by a law enforcement officer; he was found not guilty on a third count. Boen was sentenced to four years in prison; he appealed.
White had worked with Boen as a Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy and was working at the Franklin County Jail when one of the three people Boen allegedly assaulted was brought into the jail. White reportedly initially told the FBI, which was investigating Boen, that he had limited contact with Boen and did not recall the alleged victim being injured when he was taken to jail.
The next day, according to prosecutors, White contacted the FBI to “clarify his statement.” The FBI questioned White again, and White said the victim ‘hit his head and face multiple times while being transported from the patrol vehicle to his jail cell,’ according to an investigation report. pre-conviction obtained by rolling stone which was prepared after Boen’s conviction.
According to the report, the FBI then discovered that White and Boen had had several phone conversations and exchanged text messages, including a 21-minute call that ended a minute before White contacted the FBI, saying he wanted to clarify his original statement. While it’s unclear whether White faced repercussions for his calls and texts with Boen, it partly led prosecutors to charge Boen with violating his bail conditions by having contact with a witness. “The government further alleged that the accused [Boen] appeared to be actively attempting to tamper with witnesses, particularly White…” Following this, the court placed special bail conditions on Boen, requiring that he have no contact – directly or indirectly – with White and others. witnesses involved in the case.
Lori Greene, the mother of one of the victims Boen was convicted of using unreasonable force against, sees the problem of violence in Arkansas law enforcement as a larger problem. She says rolling stone that even though her son did something “really stupid” – she says he took meth and was arrested for domestic trouble – he didn’t deserve what happened to him. “I understand what he did was wrong,” she said. “He understands that he is in prison. He is on parole next year. He takes full responsibility for what he has done. That didn’t give the sheriff the right to do that. [he] did.”
Christina says something has to change because trust within the community has been broken. “People are afraid to speak because they live here. They have to go back and forth to work, you know? she says of the fear that accompanies speaking out. Of her family member, “he got in trouble,” she said. “And now he’s just gotten to the point where he doesn’t care. If he sees a cop, he will do anything, because [of] the way they treat people.