DALLAS – A white Texas police officer was placed on limited duty Thursday during an internal investigation looks into a video incident in which the officer wrestling a black woman on the ground for the arrest of her and her two daughters.
The Fort Worth officer, whose name has not been released, responded to a call for service after Jacqueline Craig had a fight with a man who she said was physically confronted her 7-year-old son for the clutter. In the mobile phone video of the Wednesday incident, Craig can be heard telling the officer that the man “grabbed and choked” her son.
The officer grabs Craig in a conversation that quickly escalates. He asks why she had not taught her son not to litter. Craig says, regardless of whether the boy is littered, the man had no right to “put his hands on him.” The officer says: “Why not?”
Dallas civil rights attorney S. Lee Merritt posted on social media that he would represent Craig and her 19-year-old daughter, Brea Hymond, and that no report was filed about the confrontation between the man and Craig’s son. He did not immediately return a text message to The Associated Press seeking comment Thursday.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that Craig’s 15-year-old daughter was also arrested. Fort Worth police in a statement Thursday confirmed there were three arrests.
Online records show Craig and Hymond were released from prison. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that the 15-year-old was released, also.
The police said in their statement that they have reviewed the officer’s body camera footage, but will not be released, or many of the other details, because the state of the law concerning internal investigations doesn’t allow them to do this.
“We recognize that the first appearance of the video that raise serious questions,” the police statement said. “We ask that our researchers are given the time and opportunity to thoroughly investigate this incident and submit their findings.”
The video, viewed more than 1.1 million times, was posted on Facebook by a woman identified by The Dallas Morning News as Craig’s cousin.
In the video, one of Craig’s daughters try to push her mother away, but the officer forces Craig and the toe on the ground. He points a stun gun in Craig’s back and then at her daughter when she tries to approach.
The head of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas said in a statement Thursday that she is disappointed the officer gets 48 hours to prepare a report about the incident.
“This incident and countless others like them demonstrate that for people of color, show something less than absolute respect for the police — whatever the circumstances — can be unjust and often tragic consequences,” executive director Terri Burke said. “This fundamental injustice is also a threat to public safety. As a Black woman in Fort Worth can not call the police after her son allegedly choked by a neighbor without being arrested, why would she ever call the cops again?”