A video showing a Fort Worth police officer forcibly subduing a black woman and her daughter after they had complained about an assault against the woman’s son has provoked outrage.
The officer was called to the scene after the woman, Jacqueline Craig, reported on Wednesday that her seven-year-old son was placed in a chokehold by a neighbor who caught the boy littering, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
After the officer questioned the neighbor, he then spoke with the mother who grew agitated when the cop insinuated that her son deserved to be punished for littering.
An argument ensued, prompting the mother to raise her voice much to the officer’s annoyance.
Protests erupted outside the Forth Worth police headquarters after the video surfaced.
Demonstrators held up signs saying ‘stop the hate’ as cops waited inside.
When Craig’s young daughter, Brea Hymond, 19, tried to restrain her mother, the officer pushed the daughter away and wrestled the mother to the ground while holding a Taser against her back.
After an initial conversation with the alleged attacker of the boy, the officer then begins to question the mother.
During a tense exchange, the officer questions the woman’s parenting skills after it is learned that the boy was choked because he supposedly threw litter on the street.
‘My daughter and son came home, saying that this man grabbed him and choked him,’ Craig says in the video, which went viral on Facebook.
So far, it has generated over 1 million views on the social media site.
‘I came around here and asked him. I said, “Why did you put your hands on my son?” He said, “Oh, he threw some paper and I told him to pick it up”.’
‘He said he defied him and that’s why he did it … you don’t have the right to choke somebody’s son. My son is seven years old, you don’t have the right to grab him and choke him.’
The officer responded to Craig by saying: ‘Why don’t you teach your son not to litter?’
‘He can’t prove to me that he did or didn’t, but it doesn’t matter,’ Craig says. ‘That doesn’t give him the right to put his hands on him.’
To which the officer responds, ‘Why not?’
Craig grows indignant at the officer’s questions. She says how she raises her son is immaterial and that it did not give anyone the right to harm him.
The officer than asks Craig: ‘Why are you yelling?’
The exchange grows more heated when Craig tells the officer that she is ‘pissed off’ at his insinuation that her son deserved to be choked because he littered.
‘If you keep yelling at me, you’re going to piss me off and I’m going take you to jail,’ the officer said.
At that point, the woman’s daughter, Hymond, tries to get between her mother and the officer.
The officer pushes Hymond out of the way and grabs Craig, pushes her to the ground, and presses a Taser gun to her back.
The officer then points the Taser as Hymond.
He gets up and arrests Hymond, who is visibly shaken by the ordeal.
The officer escorts Craig and Hymond to a nearby police car and sits them in the back seat.
They were booked on charges of resisting arrest, according to WFAA-TV.
Craig’s lawyer, Lee Merritt, posted a video on Facebook which he filmed during his trip to the Fort Worth jail in which his client was being held.
Merritt said that the Fort Worth police department’s internal affairs division was looking into the matter.
He later tweeted a picture of Craig and Hymond, saying that he was working hard to win their release from jail.
‘Still working hard to secure release of Jacqueline Craig & Brea Hymond,’ Merritt tweeted. ‘They are in good spirits & appreciate all the support.’
The outrage ignited over the video has prompted police to issue a ‘safety alert’ after one commenter on Facebook called for ‘killing all the white cops of Fort Worth.’
A Fort Worth Police Department spokesperson said that the officer in question has been placed on ‘restricted duty status.’
‘The investigators worked throughout the night and into the morning interviewing witnesses and reviewing video evidence; including video from a body worn camera that was active during the incident,’ FWPD wrote on its Facebook page.
‘Since this is an internal investigation, state law limits the information that may be released, including the officer’s body cam footage,’ FWPD says.
The department adds that it ‘enjoys a close and cooperative relationship’ with citizens built on ‘transparency, mutual trust and respect,’ and that it expects officers to treat citizens the same.
‘We ask that our investigators are given the time and opportunity to thoroughly examine this incident and to submit their findings.’
‘This process may take time, but the integrity of the investigation rests upon the ability of the investigators to document facts and to accurately evaluate the size and scope of what transpired.’
‘We ask our community for patience and calm during this investigation process.’