Tense Discussion In Fort Worth Over Controversial Arrest

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FORT WORTH (CBS11) – A crowd filled the Christ Church Assembly of God with concerned citizens, city leaders and Fort Worth Police to talk about community relations and the controversial viral video arrest by a Fort Worth Police officer.

Mayor Betsy Price said the meeting is just the beginning of a series of meetings planned for the city and its citizens.

“Tonight raised some issues that we may or may not have been aware of,” said Mayor Price. “It’s a good way to start dialogue.”

Community members pressed the Mayor and Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald about the viral video. Chief Fitzgerald said Officer Martin’s behavior was ‘unacceptable’ but stood by the ten-day suspension he handed down earlier this week.

He said the community could ‘agree to disagree’ on the discipline.

Many criticized city leaders for calling this an isolated incident and also questioned the decision to reinstate the officer following the 10-day suspension.

“It will make him work that much harder to repair a damaged relationship with the community,” said Chief Fitzgerald.

The conversation had an abrupt ending with members of Jaqueline Craig’s family leaving after what they said they considered an offensive statement from Mayor Price when she called this a “bitch session.”

“This should have been a session of healing,” said family member Roderick Smith. “This should have been a session of unity but guess what she don’t care, she don’t care this is a bitch session.”

Mayor Price apologized and said she anticipates this will be the first of many such meetings.

“I was trying to say it in the context that I don’t want this to just be that I want this to be a constructive dialogue and people take a offense to certain thing and I apologized,” said Price.

The next community meeting is scheduled for February 13 at 6:00 p.m.

(©2017 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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