The Fort Worth Police Department has placed one of its officers on administrative leave after a Facebook video was posted of him arresting a woman who had called police to report an assault on her seven-year-old son.
The video shot in a residential neighborhood Wednesday shows the officer talking to a man standing on a sidewalk. The officer then approaches a woman, identified as Jacqueline Craig, who tells the officer her young son told her that the man grabbed and choked him after the man said the boy littered, according to KLTA 5.
“Why don’t you teach your son not to litter?” the officer asked Craig.
“He can’t prove to me that my son littered,” Craig said. “But it doesn’t matter if he did or didn’t, it doesn’t give him the right to put his hands on him.”
The video, posted by Craig’s daughter showed the argument escalating then the officer wrestling Craig and another daughter to the pavement and handcuffing them. The officer displayed a Taser, but it doesn’t appear in the video that he deployed it.
The Fort Worth Police Department said that at approximately 10 p.m. Dec. 21, it received information regarding the Facebook video post that captured the officer arresting three individuals on Rock Garden Trail.
According to a release from the FWPD, its Internal Affairs Unit immediately reviewed the video and subsequently initiated an internal affairs investigation. The investigators interviewed two of the three women who were arrested at the Fort Worth City Jail within two hours of the department learning of the incident.
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.
The involved officer, who was not identified, has been placed on restricted duty status by the Chief of Police pending the outcome of the internal investigation. Since it is an internal investigation, state law limits the information that may be released, including the officer’s body cam footage.
The Fort Worth Police Department said in the statement that it enjoys a close and cooperative relationship with its citizens; one of transparency, mutual trust and respect and that it expects every officer to treat persons they encounter with that same trust, respect and courtesy.
Additionally, the statement said, “We acknowledge that the initial appearance of the video may raise serious questions. 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.”
Here is the video (WARNING: Contains strong language)