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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Protests against the Fort Worth Police Department are planned for Thursday evening after a video of an officer’s confrontation with a family goes viral. That officer is now on restricted duty.
Jacqueline Craig called Fort Worth police to report a neighbor who had allegedly grabbed and choked her seven-year-old son after the child supposedly littered in his yard.
In the video, the Craig explained to the officer what happened. At some point the officer asked her why she didn’t teach her son not to litter. She responded by saying whether her child did or not, the man didn’t have the right to choke him.
In the video, after the officer asked her why not, the argument escalated. The officer took the woman to the ground, handcuffed her and pointed what appears to be a taser at another woman, reported to be Craig’s 19-year old daughter, Brea Hymond. Both women were detained.
The woman who shot the original cell phone video was also arrested. Jacqueline Craig and Brea Hymond were released from jail around 2:30 p.m.
The video has sparked several calls for civil rights protests in downtown Fort Worth.
Fort Worth Police released the following statement shortly before 2:00 p.m. Thursday:
On Dec. 21, at approximately 10 p.m., the Fort Worth Police Department received information regarding a Facebook video post that captured a Fort Worth police officer arresting three individuals on Rock Garden Trail.
The Internal Affairs Unit began to immediately review the video and subsequently initiated an internal affairs investigation. The investigators interviewed two of the three arrestees at the Fort Worth City Jail within two hours of the department learning of the incident.
The investigators worked throughout the night and into the morning interviewing witnesses and reviewing video evidence; including video from a body worn camera that was active during the incident.
The involved officer has been placed on restricted duty status by the Chief of Police pending the outcome of the internal investigation. Since this is an internal investigation, state law limits the information that may be released, including the officer’s body cam footage.
The Fort Worth Police Department 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.
We acknowledge that the initial appearance of the video may raise serious questions. We ask that our investigators are given the time and opportunity to thoroughly 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.\
The executive director of the ACLU of Texas, Terri Burke released the following statement on the matter:
“We regret that the FWPD is giving the officer 48 hours to prepare his report on the incident. That leaves us with only the video on which to rely for information. When the mother of a seven-year-old boy calls the police to report an assault on her son, the responding officer should expect to find her distraught. In this instance, the officer ignored basic community policing standards and his own responsibility to de-escalate the confrontation. This incident and countless others like them demonstrate that for people of color, showing anything less than absolute deference to police officers —regardless of the circumstances — can have unjust and often tragic consequences. This fundamental injustice is also a threat to public safety. If a Black woman in Fort Worth can’t call the cops after her son is allegedly choked by a neighbor without getting arrested, why would she ever call the cops again?”
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