FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — New information has become available regarding the background of two deputies and an officer involved in the violent arrest in Mulberry caught on video on August 21.
KNWA/FOX24 obtained the professional history records of each person involved in the arrest through multiple freedom of information requests. The hundreds of pages of documents about each deputy and officer revealed that Crawford County Deputy Zack King has a history of being written up for being rough on inmates and for not following orders from supervisors at work.
Deputy Levi White has won awards and Mulberry police officer Thell Riddle was terminated from the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department the same day he resigned.
Those are just some pieces of the documented history, which are broken down further below:
Thell Riddle – Mulberry Police Officer and former Crawford County Sheriff’s Deputy
- According to documents, in 2002, Riddle failed to meet the minimum score for the sheriff’s department semi-annual handgun test. His firearms privileges were suspended for 30 days and he had to complete additional training.
- In 2003, Riddle was reprimanded for not properly searching an inmate and allowing him to keep a lighter and a body piercing.
- Riddle had an affair with a coworker at the sheriff’s department in 2008, which Chief Deputy Ron Brown said could interfere with his duties. He was suspended for picking a woman up and taking her with him on the job, and then lying to supervisors about it.
- Riddle was fired as a Crawford County Sheriff’s Deputy in January of 2008 by Chief Brown, who cited the violation of multiple department policies. Riddle wrote a letter of resignation on the same day, citing “personal issues.” He added that he hoped to serve the people of Crawford County again.
- He started with the Mulberry Police Department on March 21, 2017.
I recognize the badge of my office as a symbol of public faith, and I accept it as a public trust to be held so long as I am true to the ethics of the police service.An excerpt from a Law Enforcement Code of Ethics, signed by Thell Riddle, Zack King and Levi White
Zack King – Crawford County Sheriff’s Deputy
- The documents show King received a certificate for “basic refresher” specialized training in February 2022, and he had signed a form acknowledging a use of force policy.
- In March 2018, he was written up for “striking an inmate in the face during a physical altercation,” according to the documents.
- In April 2018, documents say he was given an employee counseling form for “being too aggressive with inmates” and was given “verbal counseling.” He was then written up for “not following supervisor’s instructions.”
- In September 2018, the documents say King was written up for “entering the tower without permission from a supervisor.”
- In May 2019, he was cited for “failing to make sure there was someone here early to do count/lack of communication.” The form says it was the “third time this has happened in three weeks.”
- In August 2019, King was cited for losing his deputy sheriff badge.
- In September 2019, King was written up for “insubordination” for leaving before his shift was over without permission and being defiant about it.
Levi White – Crawford County Sheriff’s Deputy and former Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy
- White has received several awards, including Deputy of the Year and he was a sniper in the U.S. Army.
- When he worked for the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, White signed a form about using body cams. In 2018 he signed a form agreeing to comply with the Franklin County use of force policy, and in 2019, he signed a form agreeing to comply with the county’s racial profiling policy.
- He also completed training as recently as 2019.
- In April 2019, a woman complained that White was “mean” and wouldn’t talk to her at an accident scene. Local attorneys say White has been involved in other violent arrests. The Arkansas Freedom of Information Act does not apply to documents tied to ongoing investigations.
- White resigned from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office in 2020.
All three law enforcement members remain suspended from their respective departments and the arrest incident in Crawford County remains under investigation.
A federal civil rights complaint filed by Randal Worcester on August 29 alleges that the Mulberry Police Department ignored complaints filed against Riddle, and that the same happened in Crawford County incidents involving White and King.