Fort Worth Officials Call For Patience, Calm As Investigation Continues Into Video Of Officer
Fort Worth officials are calling for patience during the ongoing investigation of a viral video of a white Fort Worth police officer wrestling a black woman to the ground before arresting her and her teenage daughters.
Officials said Jacqueline Craig’s original complaint to police is also being investigated. Police were called Wednesday after Craig argued with a man she said physically confronted her 7-year-old son for littering, according to The Associated Press. In a cell phone video, Craig can be heard telling the officer that the man had "grabbed and choked" her son.
In a press conference Friday, Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald said he was disturbed by the officer's behavior in the video.
"It did not in any way make me feel as if our internal affairs unit or anyone within the Fort Worth Police Department could not get to bottom of what happened here and provide justice to everyone involved," Fitzgerald said.
He didn’t have information on whether past excessive use-of-force complaints had been made against the officer, who hasn’t been identified. The officer has been placed on restricted duty status.
U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey said the officer’s actions were unnecessary.
“It appeared to me that the police officer escalated the situation and was being rude and condescending to the citizen,” he said.
Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price called it an isolated incident and said the city is taking it very seriously.
Fort Worth was one of six cities picked by U.S. Department of Justice last year for a community policing pilot program. Veasey pledged to work with Price and Fitzgerald to examine how grant funds from the DOJ were being used and how the program could be improved.
Officials asked for public support for the investigation to ensure due process.
Chief Fitzgerald said that the alleged assault of the 7-year-old should have taken precedence. Since a minor was involved, Fitzgerald said body cam footage of the incident won't be released until the investigation is complete.
Here is the original video of the incident. Warning: It contains violence and strong language throughout.
Here's an extended version of the video published Dec. 23: