Growing Backlash Over Mother Arrested After Calling the Police for Help
A mother and two family members were arrested Wednesday after confronting a Fort Worth police officer who had been called to investigate the reported assault of a 7-year-old boy, according to a video of the incident.
The mother, Jacqueline Craig, had called police Wednesday afternoon to report that a man had assaulted her son for littering, according to the woman’s relatives. Relatives said that a man in their southwest Fort Worth neighborhood had grabbed the boy by the neck in an attempt to get him to pick up the trash.
After a police officer arrived at the scene in the 7400 block of Rock Garden Trail the situation quickly escalated, with women screaming profanities at the officer, who eventually handcuffed and arrested two women and a 15-year-old girl, believed to be Craig’s daughter.
The police officer is white and the women are black. The officer has not been identified.
The video shows the officer talking to both the man who allegedly assaulted Craig’s son and then Craig. Craig can be heard telling the man that he should have alerted her if he believed her son had littered and that he didn’t have the right to put his hands on her son.
“Why don’t you teach your son not to litter?” the officer asks Craig.
“He can’t prove to me that my son littered,” Craig responded. “But it doesn’t matter if he did or didn’t, it doesn’t give him the right to put his hands on him.”
“Why not?” the officer responds.
The exchange immediately grows heated with Craig telling the officer that his question made her angry and the officer replying he would take her to jail if she continued yelling at him.
Craig and other women began shouting at the officer, which was captured on video being shot by Craig’s cousin, Porsha Craver. Women crowded around the officer can be heard screaming profanity at the officer and calling him a “pig,” before walking toward him.
A struggle between the officer and Craig ensued and relative Brea Hymond ran to stand in between the two, according to the video.
The officer pulled his Taser — it is not clear if he used it — and wrestled Craig and Hymond to the ground, handcuffing arresting the two women and the juvenile.
Fort Worth police said Thursday that they were aware of the video and that “Internal Affairs is currently conducting an internal investigation. A formal statement from FWPD will be sent out …. later today.”
Craig, 46, was arrested for resisting arrest and also has outstanding traffic warrants, according to jail records.
Hymond, 19, was arrested for resisting arrest and interfering with public duty. according to jail records.
Craig’s daughter was released early Thursday, said attorney Lee Merritt, who is representing the women.
A video of the incident was posted on Facebook and has received more than 800,000 views.
Just before relatives were getting ready to call police, Craig said she saw that the man was already on the phone with them. He was saying there were a lot of “them here now,” Craig said.
While many of the nation’s largest cities have been enthralled in Black Lives Matter protests in recent months, mostly because of controversial shootings of black men by police, Fort Worth has been mostly immune to racially charged incidents.
Police have been active in the community and at a public forum in August, Joel Fitzgerald, Fort Worth’s first black police chief, talked about the importance of building relationships.
“We need to break through now to the next generation of kids out there so they understand we’re here to provide a service to them, ” Fitzgerald said.