You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myStatesman.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myStatesman.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myStatesman.com.

Fort Worth officer in viral video suspended for 10 days


A white police officer whose behavior during his arrest of a black mother and her two teen-aged daughters was questioned has been been suspended without pay for 10 days, official announced Monday.

An appeal of the decision was filed for Fort Worth police officer William Martin as the announcement was being made.

Martin was “contrite” and “sorry” about the incident, police Chief Joel Fitzgerald said a press conference Monday afternoon, calling the suspension a “significant punishment.”

Martin had responded to a potential assault call at a residence in southwest Fort Worth on the afternoon of Dec. 21 and the situation quickly escalated. One of the daughters recorded the incident on her phone.

EYE ON CRIME: Click to receive our Crime and Safety Report by email every Monday

Both Mayor Betsy Price and Fitzgerald said the situation was an isolated incident.

Fitzgerald said various videos were reviewed during the investigation. “We left no stone unturned,” he said.

The chief said the decision to suspended Martin for 10 days was his, and some members of the department’s command staff disagreed, 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. His 10-day suspension will begin Tuesday and he will return to patrol work in the same neighborhood where last month’s incident occurred.

Martin has appealed the suspension, his attorney, Terry Daffron, said in a statement.

“Clearly, we do not agree with the findings contained in the Chief’s disciplinary letter,” Daffron’s statement said. “We look forward to a fair, neutral, and impartial hearing process, free from political pressure and influence, one where Officer Martin will finally have a ‘voice’ and all of the evidence will be considered by the arbitrator.”

Lee Merritt — the attorney for Jacqueline Craig, the woman who was arrested in the incident last month — said in a Facebook video Monday that Craig and her family were “in disbelief, shocked and upset” at the officer’s 10-day suspension.

Merritt described the punishment as a “vacation.”

“The police department has failed the city of Fort Worth and the people of Fort Worth,” Merritt said in the video. “They sent a clear message out to the African-American community and the world community. And I don’t care how many black faces they put in uniform, they put a message out that our lives are less valuable.”

‘Just trying to protect my mom’

Jacqueline Craig, 46, had called police to report that she suspected that her neighbor, an adult male, had choked her 7-year-old son because he dropped some raisins in his yard and refused to pick them up when asked.

Craig’s 19-year-old daughter, Brea Hymond, was videoing the discussion between Martin and Craig when things got a little testy.

Martin: “Why don’t you teach your son not to litter?”

Craig: “He can’t prove 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: “Why not?”

As the conversation between the officer and Craig heated up, Craig’s 15-year-daughter, Jacques Craig, stepped in between the two and the officer grabbed her from behind. The video shows Martin being peppered with profane language from women who had gathered at the scene. At one point, Martin pulled and pointed his Taser at Craig and Jacques Craig. He also wrestled them both to the ground.

Jacques Craig told the Star-Telegram that she “was just trying to protect my mom.”

Eventually, Craig and her two daughters were placed in police vehicles and taken away from the house in the 7400 block of Rock Garden Trial.

Craig and Hymond, were arrested and Jacques Craig was taken to a juvenile detention center.

Craig’s niece, Porsha Craver, posted an edited version of the profanity-laced video of the arrest that went viral, sparking the ire of hundreds of viewers, some who called for the officer to be fired.

Craver’s video had been viewed more than 3.3 million times as of 9 p.m. Saturday.

A longer 30-minute version of the video was released later.

Case forwarded to DA’s office

The case against Craig and her older daughter has been forwarded to the Tarrant County district attorney’s office for review and presentation to the grand jury, according to police.

Craig and her older daughter face charges of interference with a public duty, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and failing to provide identification, police said. Jacques Craig has been accused of interference with public duty, police said.

The case involving the resident accused by the family of assaulting Craig’s 7-year-old son will also be presented before a grand jury, police said.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Showers and thunderstorms predicted Sunday afternoon, evening

Central Texas will see mostly cloudy skies today, with a 40 percent chance of of showers and thunderstorms after 1 p.m., the National Weather Service says. Some of the storms could be severe. The high will be near 89, with heat index values rising as high as 97. Tonight’s forecast calls for a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, and...
Legislature approves strict caps for unpaid tolls
Legislature approves strict caps for unpaid tolls

The Texas House and Senate Saturday approved a compromise version of Senate Bill 312, the must-pass Texas Department of Transportation sunset bill, sending it on to Gov. Greg Abbott for his signature. That final version of the bill, worked out by its sponsor Sen. Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville, and a House-Senate conference committee in recent days...
Study: Dads’ brains respond differently to daughters than sons
Study: Dads’ brains respond differently to daughters than sons

Fathers with toddler daughters are more attentive and responsive to their needs than fathers with toddler sons, according to a study published in an American Psychological Association journal. >> Read more trending news  Behavorial Neuroscience journal. Fathers of young boys engaged in more rough-and-tumble play and used more achievement-related...
Girl turns Justin Trudeau’s office into a pillow fort
Girl turns Justin Trudeau’s office into a pillow fort

A 5-year-old girl who got to be prime minister for a day in Canada put Justin Trudeau to work, directing him in building a pillow fort, the Huffington Post reported. >> Read more trending news When Bella Thompson won a CBC Kids’ contest, she went to Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister, and made her unique request. Trudeau obliged...
Father fashions feeding tube to match son’s
Father fashions feeding tube to match son’s

A Virginia man continues to show support for his young son, who was born with a congenital heart defect, by sharing a photo of himself and the 3-year-old boy wearing feeding tubes. >> Read more trending news Robert Selby, whose son Chace requires a feeding tube, fashioned one of his own and glued it on to match his son in the Instagram photo...
More Stories