A Fort Worth police officer has been placed on “restricted duty status” after a viral video emerged Wednesday showing the officer arresting a mother who called authorities to report that her 7-year-old son had been assaulted.
In a statement posted on Twitter on Thursday, police said the department’s Internal Affairs Unit is investigating the incident, which led to the arrest of the mother, Jacqueline Craig, and her two daughters, according to video of the incident that was posted on Facebook.
Craig, 46, and her relatives are black, and the officer – who has not been named by police – is white.
The nearly 6-minute video – which shows the officer pointing his stun gun at teenagers during the controversial arrests – has been shared more than 65,000 times and racked up nearly 1 million views.
Craig was charged with resisting arrest, according to jail records obtained by the Star-Telegram.
Brea Hymond, one of Craig’s teenage daughters, was also charged with resisting arrest and interfering with public duty, the paper reported.
A second 15-year-old daughter was also arrested, but charging information was not immediately available.
Lee Merritt, an attorney for the woman, told the Star-Telegram that he wants the charges against his clients “dropped immediately,” calling them “completely manufactured.”
“We want to see the officer involved terminated from his position as a peace officer within Fort Worth and would also like to see him prosecuted criminally for his behavior – for his felony assault of my clients,” Merritt added. “We would like to see the individual who all this started from – the neighbor who assaulted a 7-year-old child – prosecuted as well.”
He noted on Twitter that police didn’t take Craig’s original report about her son allegedly being assaulted.
On Wednesday morning, Merritt tweeted that he was working to secure the release of both women. By Wednesday afternoon, that release had occurred, according to the lawyer’s Twitter feed.
The police statement said investigators “worked throughout the night” interviewing witnesses and reviewing video evidence, including footage from the officer’s body camera.
The statement asked the public to remain calm Thursday as their investigation into the troubling continues.
“We acknowledge that the initial appearance of the video may raise serious questions,” the police statement said. “We ask that our investigators are given the time and opportunity to thoroughly examine the incident and to submit their findings.”
“The process may take time, but the integrity of the investigation rests upon the ability of our investigators to document facts and to accurately evaluate the size and scope of what transpired.”
The video begins with Craig explaining to the officer that her children told her that a man in her Fort Worth neighborhood grabbed her son by the neck after the child refused to pick up litter.
“You could’ve came to me,” Craig tells the accused man, who stands nearby. “Don’t put your hands on my son.”
“Well why don’t you teach your son not to litter,” the officer responded.
Craig then replied, “He can’t prove to me that my son littered, but it doesn’t matter if he did or didn’t, it doesn’t give him the right to put his hands on him.”
“Why not?” the officer responded.
The comment prompts someone outside the shot to remind the officer that he’s being recorded.
Craig, growing pained, tells the officer that he doesn’t know what she teaches her son and that children don’t always follow their parent’s rules when adults are out of sight.
The officer replies that if she keeps yelling it’s going to “piss me off, and I’m going to take you to jail.”
As tensions rise, the video shows Hymond, 19, step in front of Craig and begin to push her away from the officer. At that point, the officer grabs the teenager from behind before aggressively pushing her to the side, knocking Craig to the ground and shoving a taser into her back and then pointing the weapon at others at the scene.
Merritt told KXAS-TV that Craig’s teenage daughter stepped in between the officer and her mother to de-escalate the situation.
As the officer grabs the teen’s shoulder from behind a voice screams, “Don’t grab her! Don’t grab her!”
As the incident unfolds a woman can be heard telling the officer that he is “on live,” a reference to Facebook Live, which allows users to stream live video online.
The video shows the officer arresting Hymond while the person filming follows him with her phone yelling profanities and telling the officer that he’s “arresting a 15-year-old.”
The Facebook video: www.facebook.com/Porsha.Craver.26/videos/10211610596565571/