Texas Police Officer Suspended For 10 Days Over Woman's Forceful Arrest
A police officer in Fort Worth, Texas, has been suspended for 10 days after an inquiry into his forceful arrest of a woman and her two daughters in December.
The arrest was recorded and streamed live on Facebook, as The Two-Way reported at the time:
"The events unfolded in southwest Fort Worth, where Jacqueline Craig called police to say a man had grabbed and choked her 7-year-old son after accusing him of littering. But after an officer responded to the call, the two engaged in a heated argument as bystanders, including Craig's relatives, looked on.
"In the nearly 6-minute video that's now been viewed some 2.5 million times on Facebook, the responding officer is seen questioning Craig, as she says the man should have spoken to her about her son. The video was posted by Porsha Craver, Craig's niece who used a smartphone to film a screen showing the original footage — and who offers her own comments about the police encounter."
Immediately after the incident, the officer in the video was "placed on restricted duty status by the Chief of Police" pending the outcome of an Internal Affairs investigation, the Fort Worth Police Department said.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that the officer, William Martin was "contrite" and "sorry" about the incident, according to police Chief Joel Fitzgerald, who called the suspension "significant punishment" during a news conference Monday.
The newspaper continued:
"Both Mayor Betsy Price and Fitzgerald said the situation was an isolated incident. He said various videos were reviewed during the investigation. 'We left no stone unturned,' Fitzgerald said.
"The chief said the decision to suspended Martin for 10 days was his, and some members of the department's command staff disagreed, [saying] he should have been more lenient.
" 'But the buck stops here,' Fitzgerald said. He said Martin showed neglect of duty and discourtesy. He said the officer will undergo training before he returns to duty."
Craig told the Dallas Morning News she wanted the charges against her dropped. The newspaper reported that the charges include interference with public duty, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and failing to provide identification.
The Star-Telegram says the charges have been forwarded to the district attorney, who will decide whether to prosecute.
Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.