WASHINGTON – A white Texas police officer who was captured on video wrestling a black woman and her teen daughter to the ground before arresting them along with another daughter who videotaped the incident is being suspended without pay for 10 days, the Fort Worth police chief announced Monday afternoon.
Officer William Martin violated policy, is “very sorry for what has transpired” and is eager to resume active duty, Chief Joel Fitzgerald said at a news conference. Fitzgerald – who is black – said Martin must undergo additional training and will return to the same community to “re-establish some of the relationships we feel were damaged by what we saw in that video.” The suspension was Fitzgerald’s decision.
Jacqueline Craig summoned the police Dec. 22, 2016 then told Officer Martin that an adult male neighbor had choked her 7-year-old son for allegedly littering in his yard. Her daughter Brea Hymond, 19, filmed the interaction between Craig and Martin. In the video, as the white neighbor looks on, the officer asks Craig, “Why don’t you teach your son not to litter?” and asks “Why not?” when she says the neighbor had no right to put his hands on her son.
After Craig’s 15-year-old daughter gets between the two as their interaction escalates, Martin throws both of them to the ground and holds a Taser at Craig’s back. The mother and both daughters were handcuffed and taken into custody. He is shown kicking the younger daughter before putting her in the patrol car.
Craig and Hymond were charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. The younger daughter was been charged with interfering with public duties.
Videos of the arrests have been viewed millions of times online. Many letters and emails to police and Fort Worth officials demanded that Martin be fired.
The cases against Craig and Hymond will be forwarded to the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office for review and presentation to a grand jury, according to police.
The assault allegations against the neighbor also will be presented to a grand jury, police said.
Craig and her family want the charges against them dropped and charges filed against the neighbor, her attorney Lee Merritt said at a news conference Monday afternoon. Merritt also said the family wanted the officer to be fired.
Officer Martin has appealed his suspension, which begins today.