CRAWFORD COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A former Crawford County deputy arrested by the FBI after he and two other members of law enforcement were seen in a video using excessive force is accused of wiping his phone before handing it over to the FBI.

According to an affidavit, the FBI obtained evidence that indicates that former deputy Levi White destroyed evidence to prevent its use in a federal proceeding.

On August 21, White and two other members of law enforcement, former Crawford County Sheriff’s Deputy Zack King and Mulberry police officer Thell Riddle were caught on video beating a restrained man outside of a convenience store.

On the same day as the incident, the affidavit says the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office told White that the Arkansas State Police would be investigating the incident.

The affidavit states the next day, then Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Civil Rights division of the U.S. Department of Justice launched a separate investigation into the arrest.

According to the affidavit, the FBI also opened an investigation into the officers’ use of force and asked the sheriff’s office to retrieve the work cell phones of White and King.

The affidavit says the sheriff’s office tried to obtain White’s equipment including his phone, but was unable to do so.

A member of the sheriff’s office command staff called White, but he did not answer, according to the affidavit.

The affidavit says on Sept. 7, attorneys for Crawford County sent an email to White’s attorney that scheduled the sheriff’s office to pick up White’s equipment and work phone from his home on the next day.

The affidavit says sheriff’s deputies went to White’s home to pick up his equipment and cell phone.

They met White on his front porch and White went into his house to get his phone and told deputies that his phone was dead and that he did not have a charger, according to the affidavit.

The affidavit says on September 12, an FBI agent went to get White’s phone from the sheriff’s office. The FBI agent noticed when the phone was taken off the charger, that the phone screen lit up and displayed “hello” on the screen.

The FBI agent said in the affidavit that based on their training, the “hello” screen occurs when an Apple iPhone is first being set up or when it has been factory reset.

The affidavit says the agent took the phone to extract information from the phone, but no data was retrievable from the phone. A forensic examiner said the phone was powered on in what appeared to be a factory reset state.

The affidavit says the phone was factory reset an hour and a half prior to the scheduled pick-up time by the sheriff’s office. As a result, the FBI analyst was not able to retrieve any data from the phone including call records, text messages, pictures, or other information that may have been relevant to the investigation.

According to the affidavit, on Sept. 28, White claimed he reset his phone because it had been set up using his personal Apple ID account, credit card and banking information, and he reset the phone to remove his personal information.

The affidavit says that based on toll records from his phone, White made two calls and did not send or receive any text messages on the day before the arrest.

However, the affidavit says following the arrest, White used his personal phone to send or receive 12 phone calls and 51 text messages. The following day, the phone sent or received a total of 26 phone calls and 48 text messages.

According to the affidavit, the FBI found information relevant to the investigation of the arrest including text messages that White and other officers recognized that White used excessive force.

The affidavit says within two hours of the incident, Riddle sent White a text message to White’s personal phone describing the arrest as an “ass whipping”.

White sent messages to a childhood friend about the incident, according to the affidavit, who told the FBI that after seeing the viral video of the arrest, he had sent text messages back and forth with White and had at least one phone conversation with White.

The childhood friend told the FBI that the video would ruin his life and cost him his job. The friend said White told them there was also dash camera video of the arrest which provided more context to the arrest.

White’s friend told the FBI that White was worried about going to jail over the incident and about losing his job.

The affidavit says White told his friend “we may have gone too far, but I had just had my head hit on the ground and was concussed.” White later said “after we got him down and secured, maybe it went too far.”

In a federal grand jury testimony several weeks later, White’s friend testified that White said “my punches look horrible, but I was lightly hitting him to get him to stop moving around.”

On Jan. 5, the FBI obtained a search warrant for the friend’s phone and found texts about the arrest.

The FBI also interviewed a deputy and former coworker of White’s from the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office.

The affidavit says the Johnson County deputy provided screenshots of text messages he exchanged with White following the arrest where White told the deputy he “took the fight to him.”

According to the affidavit, White said “I’ll fight back with someone trying to do that stupid s*** every time. I don’t care.”

The affidavit says White’s text conversation with the Johnson County deputy indicates that White may have wiped his phone or at least some content on it.

According to the affidavit, White had previously exchanged 15 texts with the deputy on the day of the incident, but when the deputy replied to a text conversation asking for an update, White replied with “Who is this? new phone.”

The FBI notes in the affidavit that from their training and experience, it is common for those under criminal investigation to either get a new phone or wipe or factory reset their phone in order to remove evidence from their phone. The FBI also notes that people under investigation are especially likely to wipe their phones when they have used the phone to discuss the incident under investigation and sent or received incriminating communications.

The FBI notes in the affidavit it is likely that White deleted information and records from his existing phone or reset it, erasing the contact information for the Johnson County deputy along with other relevant information. The affidavit says records indicate that White has only one phone using the same phone number, and that phone has been sending and receiving calls and text messages as of Jan. 10.