Fort Worth Police Droppes Charges, Neighbor Will Be Prosecuted
Bodycam that recorded an arrest in December 21st in Fort Worth, Texas, leaked and quickly became viral on Youtube. Footage shows the arrests of Jacqueline Craig, 46, and her daughter Brea Hymond, 19. Originally, J. Craig the police, reporting that a man, later identified as Itamar Vardi, choked her 7-year-old son while accusing him of littering. Itamar Vardi, the man first accused of choking Craig’s son, has been issued a citation for assault by contact.
For some reason, nobody could tell what happened in the meantime, but the epilog was that officer William Martin, who responded to the call, pulled out his Taser and arrested Craig, Hymond and the third female in custody, charging them with resisting arrest.
Chief of Fort Worth Police Department, Joel Fitzgerald, decided not to press charges against any of the arrested. Officer Martin received a 10-day suspension without pay and returned to work this week. In the more than a month since Craig’s arrest occurred, multiple protests were organized calling for the officer to be fired.
Instead, Martin won’t return to his assignment in the Rock Garden neighborhood where the arrests occurred and will go through what Fitzgerald called “a tremendous amount of retraining.”
Fort Worth police have also opened an investigation, checking the potential source of an unauthorized leak of body camera footage from Martin that appeared on YouTube.
Fitzgerald also said that Officer Martin acted rude toward the family, but that he would not call label the situation as racist.
In videos, Craig can be heard telling the neighbor 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.
After arriving at the scene and talking to Craig — which was being videoed by Hymond — Martin asked Craig, “Why don’t you teach your son not to litter?”
Craig replied that it doesn’t matter if her son littered or not, that it doesn’t give “him the right to put his hands on him.”
Martin replied: “Why not?”
Craig got more upset after the comment and began yelling at Martin.
The body cam video shows Martin asking Craig, “Why are you yelling at me?”
She replies, “Because you pissed me off.”
The situation quickly escalated, with Craig’s 15-year-daughter stepping in between the Martin and Craig as profanities were being screamed by the women at the scene. Martin then pulled and pointed his Taser at Craig and Jacques Craig before wrestling them to the ground.
Craig and Hymond were arrested and taken to jail and the younger daughter to a juvenile detention center.
Before the charges were dropped Thursday, Craig and her older daughter faced charges of interference with public duties, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and failing to provide identification, police said. The 15-year-old daughter was detained and later released.
Fitzgerald later called Martin’s actions “rude,” but not racist.
“I don’t think these women could ever pose a threat to the officer,” Dominique Alexander said, a minister, activist and founder of the Next Generation Action Network, social justice organization. “He devalued lives of both Craig and her daughter and we do not want to sugarcoat anything. Jacqueline Craig was slammed [to the ground]. Her daughter was slammed [to the ground]. It’s not just an isolated incident.”
Alexander has organized various police protests recently, including the rally in Dallas on July 7 when a lone gunman, Micah Johnson, ambushed officers, killing five.