FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – The Fort Worth Police Department released body camera video and the 911 calls of a violent arrest from over the weekend, giving the public a different view of the controversial incident — from the perspective of the officers. Earlier video of the arrest left the public outraged, saying that authorities went too far.
That initial video of the Saturday incident, posted to Facebook by community activist group Next Generation Action Network, shows a police officer kneeling on a man’s back and punching him while another police officer hits the man with his knee. The man in the 45-second video has been identified as Forrest Curry.
The video went viral and sparked an internal investigation within the Fort Worth Police Department.
Authorities on Tuesday confirmed that the situation actually began as a call about a man having a seizure.
Lawyers representing Curry said that he has a history of suffering from seizures, was suffering from seizures on Saturday, and continued to suffer from seizures during the altercation with officers. But police were not the first emergency responders who were called to the scene.
Emergency medical personnel were called to help Curry with his seizures on Saturday. But, when they arrived, authorities said that Curry attempted to assault the medical workers. That is when police officers were called to the scene, leading to the action that is seen in the video.
Police said that Curry seemed intoxicated and resisted arrest.
Lawyers said that Curry was ill, and his behavior was the result of his ongoing seizures. Curry is now seeing a neurologist. “It’s just sad that, in a medical emergency, they couldn’t have been more patient or understanding,” explained L. Chris Stewart, an attorney representing Curry.
The medics attributed Curry’s seizure to drug use.
“They don’t have any proof that there was drunkenness, or any drugs involved,” added attorney Jasmine Crockett.
Police released 14 minutes of body camera footage of the incident on Tuesday, along with 911 calls on Wednesday, and asked the public to remain patient until an investigation is complete, at which point the findings will be shared. The newer video shows what led up to the action that was seen in the original, shorter clip.
In the 911 calls, frantic residents are heard begging for medics and police officers to hurry. One frightened woman can even be heard saying, “This baby gonna die!”
After the body camera video was released, community members spoke at Tuesday night’s Fort Worth City Council meeting to express their concern and frustration. “We are not at a place for dialogue,” one man said. “We are at a place to check the pulse of this city council. We’re at a place where we want to hear from you. Do you care?”
“Put a stop to the criminal acts in blue, just like you do with the criminal acts,” another man said. “They don’t get a pass.”
At last check, the two police officers involved in the arrest are still on the job.
Curry does have history with the police. The 35-year-old man was on probation for resisting arrest following time in prison.