Fort Worth Officer Suspended a Mere 10 Days Over Viral Video Arrest

Injustice, Police Brutality, Race and Ethnicity

We first reported the story of Jacqueline Craig back in December.  Craig, an African American woman, called law enforcement after the assault of her son by a grown man. What happened next she could have never predicted- instead, she and her daughter found themselves arrested for resisting arrest and the assailant suffering no consequences. Video of the incident was recorded, and the person filing was also apprehended- but not before the video went viral.
She said a white man didn’t have a right to put his hands on her 7-year-old son, the police officer who responded to her 9-1-1 call retorted, “Why not?”The police officer had a very calm and quiet exchange with the white attacker. Then he strolled over to the mother, Jacqueline Craig, and asked insultingly, “What’s going on with you?”

 My daughter and son came home, saying that this man grabbed him and choked him,” Craig said as her daughter recorded. “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 7-years-old, you don’t have the right to grab him and choke him.”

The officer then asked in an accusing tone, “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 said. “That doesn’t give him the right to put his hands on him.”
The officer responded, “Why not?”
The police officer eventually detained the person recording the assault and took her phone.
The officer then began goading the woman, refusing to respond to the clear criminal act of assault against her son.
Instead, he asked Craig what she was upset about.
When her daughter, Brea Hymond, attempted to get between her and the officer, the cop pushed her out of the way, grabbed Craig pushed her to the ground. Then he pressed a Taser into her back, then pointed the Taser at her family.

With the video reaching hundreds of thousands- outrage ensued and many urged for Officer Martin to be terminated. In another slap in the face to the family who were not served, nor protected by Officer Martin- he has only been given a slap on the wrist, a mere 10 days of unpaid leave.
Scott Gordon for NBC writes:

Officer William A. Martin, the officer seen in the video, was informed of the punishment Monday morning by Fort Worth Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald. According to Fort Worth Police Officer’s Association spokesman Rick Van Houten, Martin appealed the suspension Monday afternoon. An internal affairs investigation found Martin used excessive force when he arrested Jacqueline Craig and her two daughters on charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Fitzgerald, joined by Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, announced the punishment to the public at a news conference Monday afternoon and said Martin violated policy, is sorry for his behavior and is eager to resume active duty at the end of the suspension.

Fitzgerald said he has asked the officer, who will also be required to undergo additional training, to go back into the same community when the suspension ends “to repair relationships.”

“We are not sanctioning bad behavior… People make mistakes. We have levels of mistakes that every police officer makes,” Fitzgerald said. “Some things deserve punishment; some do not. Some deserve termination and some do not.”

Fitzgerald said some members in the police chain of command did not agree with his disciplinary decision, but the ultimate decision was his to make.

In clear defiance of the judgment, showing no remorse for his actions, Martin has appealed the decision, and the ultimate injustice lies in the charges remaining for the women he unlawfully arrested.

Critics have accused the officer, who is white, of racism against the black family.
“Officer Martin is contrite,” the chief said at a news conference Monday. “He’s ready to get back to work. He’s very sorry for what has transpired.”
But Jacqueline Craig was in disbelief over the decision, her attorney Jasmine Crockett said.
” ‘You you would get more justice if someone kicked a dog,’ ” Crockett said Craig told her. She added that Craig had been crying since learning of Martin’s punishment.

Do you think justice was upheld in this case? What do you make of Martin’s actions after the fact? What shared responsibility does the department have when an officer behaves in this way with little recourse? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

(Article by Tasha Sharifa)