Body camera footage showing the controversial arrest of a woman and her daughters in Fort Worth, Texas, has been leaked online after the police department refused to make it public, the Associated Press reports.
Jacqueline Craig and her daughters, Brea Hymond, 19, and a 15-year-old girl, were arrested in December 2016 after Craig called police to report that a man had assaulted her son. Video of the arrest went viral after it was posted to Facebook by Craig’s family.
Fort Worth Police Officer William Martin, who can be seen verbally berating Craig and then throwing her and her daughters to the ground, was suspended for 10 days as a result of the incident. He has since returned to work while his attorney appeals the suspension, the Dallas Morning News reports.
Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald has said he was disappointed by the actions of the officer, who is white, but did called the arrests of the three black women “rude,” but not “racism.”
The charges against Craig and her daughters were dropped on Thursday, after the video was released, the Fort Worth Police Department announced. Itamar Vardi, the man accused of assaulting Craig’s son, has been issued a citation for assault by contact, police said.
You can watch the full video below (warning — video contains graphic language and violence):
“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 released the video to the Associated Press, and it was posted to YouTube by New York Daily News’ columnist Shaun King.
Police have refused requests from the media to release the footage. Merritt told the Associated Press he obtained the video from a trusted source.
“Under the laws of the State of Texas, the attorneys for the Craig family are legally entitled to the complete investigative file, records and recordings of this incident and any officers involved. The FWPD have denied and/or delayed several requests from our office in providing this information,” Merritt wrote in an email to the AP.
You can watch the original video recorded by Craig’s 15-year-old daughter below:
The Tarrant County district attorney’s office was reviewing the case against Craig and Hymond for possible presentation to a grand jury, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. They were charged with interference with public duties, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and failing to provide identification. Craig’s 15-year-old daughter was also charged with interference with public duties in juvenile court.
Martin was suspended for violating department policy by using excessive force and failing to thoroughly investigate the original incident, officials said. Neglect of duty, being discourteous to the public and conduct prejudicial to good order were also found by investigators.
Chief Fitzgerald told reporters Martin will have to undergo further training and said he has asked him to go back into the same community “to repair relationships.”
Craig’s family and her attorney have called for Martin to be fired and arrested. They are are also demanding charges be dropped against the three women.
The incident occurred December 21 in the southwest side of Fort Worth.
The video begins with Martin 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.”
Martin 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.”
Martin 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.”
The newly released body camera footage shows Martin talking to Craig’s 15-year-old daughter after her arrest. The girl told Martin she was just trying to push her mother away from him.
“Here’s the deal. When somebody’s under arrest, if anybody interferes, they go to jail too,” Martin told her.
“Well, I don’t know this. I’m 15 years old,” Craig’s daughter replied.