Log in

Two former deputies guilty of federal civil rights violations


Two former Crawford County, Arkansas, sheriff’s deputies, Levi White, 34, and Zackary King, 28, pleaded guilty to federal civil rights offenses for using unlawful force on a man they arrested.
“The defendants swore an oath to uphold the law, then violated that oath and abused their power by assaulting a person who was pinned to the ground and not resisting,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “These defendants will now face the serious consequences that result from their unlawful actions. The Justice Department will continue to protect the right of every person in this country to be free of excessive force by law enforcement officers.”
“The videos from this incident are a shocking display of the violent deprivation of civil rights committed by these officers,” said U.S. Attorney Clay Fowlkes for the Western District of Arkansas. “No person in police custody should ever feel threatened or should ever experience violence at the hands of those who are sworn to protect the public. We will continue to vigorously pursue justice in cases involving the violation of civil rights in the Western District of Arkansas.”
“The violent and abusive actions of these two men, who were sworn to serve and protect our community, are unacceptable,” said Assistant Director Michael D. Nordwall of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division. “Law enforcement officers hold positions with significant authority and influence, and their credibility in the eyes of the American people depends on their ability to maintain integrity. These guilty pleas serve as a reminder that the FBI will continue to hold accountable those who take advantage of their positions and will always fight to protect the civil rights of all Americans.”
“Disgraceful actions, like those of the two Crawford County sheriff’s deputies, negatively impact all members of Arkansas law enforcement,” said Special Agent in Charge Alicia D. Corder of the FBI Little Rock Field Office. “A gun and a badge do not give someone the right to ignore the Constitution. The FBI’s ArkTrust Task Force will continue to work to restore the public’s trust in law enforcement by investigating officers who violate the civil rights of citizens in our community.”

According to court documents, White, King and a third officer approached a man identified as R.W. in a gas station parking lot on Aug. 21, 2022, during their investigation into a person threatening a store attendant. R.W. lunged at White and tackled him, then all three officers quickly subdued R.W. and pinned him to the ground. After R.W. was pinned to the ground and no longer fighting the officers, King kicked R.W. in the back and struck R.W. once in the midsection with his fist. At approximately the same time, White punched R.W. at least nine times in the head, then lifted R.W.’s head and slammed it into the pavement. The third officer did not strike R.W. R.W. suffered head injuries from the assault.
Sentencing hearings will be scheduled at a later date. White faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. King faces a maximum penalty of one year in prison, one year of supervised release and a fine of up to $100,000. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The FBI Little Rock Field Office and ARKTrust Task Force investigated the case.
Special Litigation Counsel Michael J. Songer and Trial Attorneys Lia Rettammel and Anna Gotfryd of the Civil Rights Division and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Dustin Roberts and Devon Still for the Western District of Arkansas are prosecuting the case.