Video showing the arrest of a woman and her daughters in Fort Worth, Texas, has sparked outrage on social media, with many people saying the officer was out of line.
The five-minute video was posted Wednesday night by the woman’s niece, Porsha Craver.
In the video, a woman, identified as Jacqueline Craig, can be heard telling an officer that she called police because a neighbor had assaulted her son.
Craig, 46, tells the officer the man had accused her son of littering, and then choked him after her son did not listen to him. As the officer and the woman talk, things quickly grow heated and the officer eventually arrests her and her 19-year-old daughter, Brea Hymond. Another daughter, a juvenile, was also arrested.
“The officer physically, violently, and brutally escalated the situation,” Craig’s attorney, Lee Merritt, told WFAA-TV. “At that point the man should have been placed under arrest but instead the mother was questioned. She was questioned about why she did not teach her son not to litter.”
Merritt said he wants four things to happen: he wants the charges against Craig and her daughters dropped; the officer to be fired and prosecuted; and for the man accused of choking Craig’s son to also be prosecuted.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Officer Tells Craig to ‘Teach Your Son Not to Litter’ After She Says the Boy Was Choked by Their Neighbor
According to Porsha Craver, who posted the video, which you can watch above, the incident occurred on the southwest side of Fort Worth. The video begins after a police officer, who is white, responded to the call. Only one officer is seen in the video.
You can watch the full 29-minute video, showing moments before the officer arrived and additional footage of what happened during the arrest below:
The incident occurred sometime Wednesday afternoon, and the video was posted at 8 p.m.
The video begins with the officer speaking with a white man who has been identified by the family as a the neighbor they say assaulted Jackie Craig’s young son for littering.
The officer then walks over to Jackie Craig and asks her “what’s going on with you?” She tells the officer the man “grabbed and choked” her son. She tells the officer the man grabbed the boy because he “defied” him. She says the man should have come to her instead of “putting your hands on my son.”
The officer then tells Craig, “why don’t you teach your son not to litter?”
She responds, “He can’t prove to me that my son littered, but it doesn’t matter if he did or didn’t, it doesn’t give him the right to put his hands on him.”
The officer then says, “why not?” As the conversation gets more heated, the officer asks Craig why she is yelling, and she says because he “pissed her off.”
He then tells her, “if you keep yelling at me you’re going to piss me off and I’m going to take you to jail.”
Craig’s daughter then walks toward her mother and the officer, appearing to try to calm her mother down, and the officer grabs her from behind. Craig then yells at the officer not to grab her, and the scene turns chaotic.
The video then cuts to Craig on the ground with the officer kneeling in her back, his Taser in his hand. He points the Taser at a young girl, and then also at Craig’s daughter, who scrambles away as the officer handcuffs Craig. He then goes and handcuffs Craig’s daughter, before taking them both to his SUV.
He then turns his attention to the woman recording the incident, and runs at her, knocking the camera out of her hand and telling her, “you’re going to jail too.”
There are no records that the man Craig claims assaulted her son was arrested.
Body camera video showing the controversial arrest of Jacqueline Craig and her daughters by Fort Worth Police Officer William Martin has been posted online. Watch it here.Click here to read more
2. Craig & Her Daughters Were Released From Custody Thursday & Face Charges Including Resisting Arrest
Jackie Craig and her daughter, Brea Hymond, remained in police custody Thursday morning, their family told New York Daily News columnist Shaun King, who was the first to report on the incident.
After several hours in custody, they were released Thursday afternoon, their attorney said.
Craig was arrested on charges of resisting arrest and failure to identify, according to court records. She was also arrested on warrants from the Irving Police Department for traffic charges, including driving with a suspended license, failure to maintain financial responsibility and speeding. She was being held on a total of $5,901.90 bail.
Craig’s daughter, Brea Hymond, 19, was charged with resisting arrest and interfering with public duties. She was being held on $3,500 bail.
Lee Merritt, a civil rights attorney with the Dallas-based Merritt & Crockett Law Offices, said on Facebook he was going to see Craig and Hymond at the Fort Worth City Jail. They were later taken to a jail in Mansfield, according to Merritt. He posted a video early Thursday morning saying he is representing them as his clients.
Merritt said the Fort Worth Police Department’s Internal Affairs Unit is investigating the “unusual arrest,” of the women.
He posted an update early Thursday morning, saying Craig and Hymond were in “good spirits given the situation” and he was attempting to secure their release.
“We are attempting to secure that now. The ladies participated in an internal affairs investigation that’s ongoing,” Merritt said. “They were interviewed, with me present, and now we’re just simply waiting to hear about their release.”
“The ladies appreciate all the support they’re receiving,” Merritt said in the video. “I’ve shared with them your support, your prayers, your presence even for the people who have come and made their physical presence known and plan to protest, and all of it is appreciated and we will go about the business of seeking justice here.”
Officer William Martin was suspended for 10 days for the arrest of Jacqueline Craig and her daughters in Fort Worth, Texas. Body camera video of the arrest has now been released.Click here to read more
3. The Unidentified Officer Has Been Placed on ‘Restricted Duty Status’ While an Internal Affairs Investigation Is Conducted
In a statement issued Thursday afternoon, the Fort Worth Police Department said the officer seen in the video, who has not been identified, has been placed on “restricted duty status” while an internal affairs investigation is conducted.
The police department said they were alerted to the video about 10 p.m., and the Internal Affairs Unit “began to immediately review the video and subsequently initiated an internal affairs investigation.”
The investigators also reviewed video recorded the officer’s body worn camera. It was active during the incident, but the footage has not been released.
“We acknowledge that the initial appearance of the video may raise serious questions,” the department said in the statement. “We ask that our investigators are given the time and opportunity to throughly examine this incident and to submit their findings. This process may take time, but the integrity of the investigation rests upon the ability of the investigators to document facts and to accurately evaluate the size and scope of what transpired. We ask our community for patience and calm during this investigation process.”
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4. Her Family Says Their Goal Is to Get the Officer Fired for His Actions
Porsha Craver, Craig’s niece, who posted the video, addressed the viewer at the end, saying they want the video seen by as many people as possible.
“I just want you all to see how the Fort Worth Police Department treated my family after calling them for a racist man putting his hands on a 7-year-old, my 7-year-old little cousin, who couldn’t defend himself. When they called Fort Worth Police, this is what we got,” Craver said. “These motherf*cking racist-a*s officers, who clearly are not here for us. Racist b*tches. … We want everybody to see this s*it, how Fort Worth Police Department is here to treat people, and what this racist a*s police did. He deserves to lose his job and this is our goal.”
Craver did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Heavy.
Neither the city’s mayor, Betsy Price, nor its police chief, Joel Fitzgerald, have commented about the video.
Attorney Lee Merritt said the man originally reported to the police was not arrested.
“(The) officer involved will be given 48 hours to prepare a statement and consult an attorney. Under IA investigation,” Craig’s attorney, Merritt, said in a Facebook post. “The FWPD never took original report of assault on (Jacqueline) Craig’s son. After bond is posted completing this report will be our 1st step.”
5. A Protest Is Planned for Thursday in Fort Worth
The Dallas-based Next Generation Action Network is planning a protest Thursday night, its president, Dominique Alexander, said on Facebook. Alexander called it a “horrifying incident.”
The “We Demand Justice for Brea Hymond & Jacqueline Craig” protest is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at the old Tarrant County Courthouse, 100 East Weatherford Street, in Fort Worth.
A group of activists gathered at the police department Wednesday night to demand the release of Jackie Craig and her daughter, Brea Hymond:
The video of the arrest quickly spread on social media. It was viewed more than 130,000 times on Facebook in the four hours after it was posted.
Members of the Fort Worth community went to the police department’s Facebook to express their outrage.
“I believe better de-escalation techniques need to be taught to your officers as evidenced by that terrible video. Asking the Mother why she didn’t teach her son not to litter and stating “why not” in response to a neighbor putting his hands on a child is unacceptable,” Fort Worth resident J.R. Helms wrote. “The real questions should have been why the neighbor did it and how that is acceptable. He escalated the situation with his attitude, petty arguing, and immediate threats for arrest vs. actually listening and helping the situation.”
Another commenter wrote, “Shame on your officer for blatant racist behavior, extremely poor adherence to procedure, man handling a 15 year old girl (with no backup present), and arresting a mother and her daughter for no reason (resisting arrest/resisting a peace officer is bs, and you know it). Shame.”
Hundreds of comments from Fort Worth around the world had been posted on the department’s Facebook page and directed at them on Twitter by early Thursday morning.
“Hi I am writing about a very concerning video I saw today of one of your officers arresting a mother and her daughter. These two people need to already be out of jail, and the officer needs to be immediately fired and his name released,” wrote Tony Tyler. “I am planning on attending a large conference in Fort Worth this spring, but will be contacting the conference leadership to change locations if this is not promptly addressed.”
On Twitter, several celebrities and activists demanded a response from the police department:
In a statement Thursday, the department said it “enjoys a close and cooperative relationship with our citizens; one of transparency, mutual trust and respect. The Fort Worth Police Department expects every officer to treat persons they encounter with that same trust, respect and courtesy.”
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You can read more about the incident in Spanish at our sister site, AhoraMismo.com, at the link below: