Lawyer: Texas police must show arrest of mother and daughter not racially motivated

DAVID WARREN, Associated Press DALLAS (AP) 12/24 — The lawyer for a black woman who’s seen on video being wrestled to the ground and arrested by a white officer said Friday the burden is on police to prove the officer’s actions weren’t racially motivated.

Attorney S. Lee Merritt said police in Fort Worth and elsewhere in the country have shown “discriminatory behavior” toward minorities. He told The Associated Press that his client, Jacqueline Craig, is not currently considering a federal civil rights claim against police. She wants to see the Fort Worth officer fired and other actions taken by authorities, Merritt said.

“Everything that was done that day was done incorrectly,” he said.

The officer, whose name hasn’t been released, responded to a call for service after Craig argued with a man who she said had physically confronted her 7-year-old son for littering. In the cellphone video of Wednesday’s incident, Craig can be heard telling the officer that the man had “grabbed and choked” her son.

The officer engages Craig in a conversation that quickly escalates. He asks why she hadn’t taught her son not to litter. Craig says that regardless of whether the boy littered, the man did not have the right to “put his hands on him.” The officer says, “Why not?”

One of Craig’s daughters tries to push her mother away, but the officer forces Craig and the teen to the ground. He points a stun gun into Craig’s back and then at her daughter when she tries to approach. Craig, her daughter and a second daughter who intervened were arrested on charges that include disorderly conduct. All three are now out of jail and back home.

Video of the confrontation posted to Facebook has been viewed more than 2.5 million times.

The officer allowed the situation to escalate, Merritt said, and did not file a report on Craig’s claim that her neighbor accosted her son.

“We don’t see this kind of action taken against citizens who are not black or who aren’t brown,” he said.

The officer was placed on restricted duty Thursday. Later that day, about 100 protesters gathered at a courthouse, holding signs that read, “Moms Stick Together,” ”Racism Is a Sin,” and “Am I Next?”

Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald and other city officials at a news conference Friday expressed concern with the officer’s actions and asked the community to remain calm.

“I can’t call it racism but I noticed in the video that the officer was rude,” said Fitzgerald, who is black. “There’s a difference between rude and racism.”

Fitzgerald said the video “disturbed” him but that investigators need time to review the matter and submit their findings.

Mayor Betsy Price added, “This is an isolated incident in Fort Worth and we are taking it very seriously.”

Attorney Terry Daffron, who represents the officer as counsel for the Combined Law Enforcement Association of Texas, said people shouldn’t jump to conclusions based solely on the video, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

“As has become the norm in our society, the video does not show the entire interaction between the officer and the individuals on the scene,” Daffron said in a statement to the newspaper. “It is shameful that there is an immediate rush to judgment that my client is a racist cop simply because of the color of his skin … I am confident that when all of the facts, evidence, and information come to light, it will present a different account of the events.”

Police said in an earlier statement that they have reviewed the officer’s body camera footage, but will not be releasing it or many other details because state law regarding internal investigations doesn’t allow them to do so, particularly investigations that involve minors.

https://www.apnews.com/c78fc29b625b4b79a3da4c69260d1498/Lawyer:-Texas-police-must-show-arrest-not-racially-motivated

Posted in: Civilian Complaints, Lawsuits, Misconduct/Abuse of Authority, Racial Issues, Use of Force, Video

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

3 × 3 =

Terms of Use for Posting Comments

Terms of Use

This site (the “Site”) is operated and maintained by Law Enforcement Education Foundation, Corporation (“Company”). Throughout the Site, the terms “we”, “us” and “our” refer to Company.  The words “user,” “you” and “your” as used herein refer to you.

Please read these terms and conditions of use (“Terms of Use”) carefully before contributing content. If you do not agree to these Terms of Use, please do not contribute content. Your use of the Site is subject to the Terms and Conditions found here .

By contributing content to the Site, you represent and warrant that you are at least eighteen (18) years old and that you have read and understand these Terms of Use and any amendments thereto and agree to be bound by them. If you are not at least eighteen (18) years old or you do not agree and accept these Terms of Use, you are prohibited from contributing content.

From time to time, we may permit users to submit content to the Site.  You hereby acknowledge and agree that by submitting remarks, comments, suggestions, ideas, graphics, feedback, edits, concepts, comments, photographs, illustrations and other materials (other than personal information and/or registration information) through the Site (individually and collectively, “Submissions”), you (i) grant us a nonexclusive, royalty-free, perpetual, transferable, irrevocable and fully sub-licensable right to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, translate, distribute, publish, create derivative works from and publicly display and perform such Submissions throughout the world in any media, now known or hereafter created, without attribution to you; (ii) grant us the right to pursue at law any person or entity that violates your and/or our rights in your Submissions; and (iii) forever waive any and all of your rights, including but not limited to moral rights, if any, in and to your Submissions, including, without limitation, any all rights or requirements of attribution or identification of you as the author of the Submission or any derivative thereof.  We reserve the right to remove any of your Submissions from the Site, in whole or in part, without notice to you, for any reason or no reason.

Submissions are made voluntarily. Any submissions which include personally identifiable information are subject to our Privacy Policy found here .  You may not upload or otherwise publish content on the Site that (i) is confidential to you or any third party; (ii) is untrue, inaccurate, false or other than an original work of your authorship; (iii) that relates to or impersonates any other person; (iv) violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property rights of any person or entity; (v) contains any content, personally identifiable information or other information, or materials of any kind that relate or refer to any other person or entity other than the provider of the products, goods or services to which the Submission relates; or (vi) violates any law, or in any manner infringes or interferes with the rights of others, including but not limited to the use of names, information, or materials that (A) libel, defame, or invade the privacy of any third party, (B) are obscene or pornographic, (C) are harmful, threatening, offensive, abusive, harassing, vulgar, false or inaccurate, racially, sexually, ethnically or are otherwise objectionable or otherwise contrary to the laws of any place where such Submissions may be accessed; (D) constitute personal attacks on other individuals; (E) promote criminal, immoral or illegal activity; (F) promote or advertise any person, product or service or solicit funds; or (G) are deemed confidential by any contract or policy.

You are solely responsible for any Submissions you make and their accuracy. We take no responsibility and assume no liability for any Submissions posted by you or any third party.

Unless approved by us in writing in advance, you agree not to: (i) provide or create a link to the Site; or (ii) create any frames at any other sites pertaining to any of the content located on the Site.

We reserve the right, in our discretion, to update, change or replace any part of these Terms of Use for Posting Comments by posting updates and/or changes to our Site.  It is your responsibility to check this page periodically for changes.  Your continued use of, and/or access to the Site, following the posting of any changes to these Terms of Use for Posting Comments, constitutes your acceptance of those changes.