Skip to main content
Press Release

Two Former Arkansas Sheriff’s Deputies Plead Guilty to Federal Civil Rights

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Arkansas

FORT SMITH - 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 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 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.” 

“Disgraceful actions, like those of the two Crawford County sheriff’s deputies, negatively impact all members of Arkansas law enforcement,” said FBI Little Rock Special Agent in Charge Alicia D. Corder. “A gun and a badge does 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.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Dustin Roberts and Devon Still for the Western District of Arkansas and Special Litigation Counsel Michael J. Songer and Trial Attorney Lia Rettammel of the Civil Rights Division are prosecuting the case.

Related court documents may be found on the Public Access to Electronic Records website at


Contact: Charlie Robbins

Public Affairs Officer

Updated April 19, 2024