The Fort Worth Police Department announced yesterday (January 9) that Officer William Martin, whose late-December arrest of Jacqueline Craig and her daughters Jacques Craig and Brea Hymond went viral on social media, received a 10-day suspension for his actions.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that Craig’s niece Porsha Craver posted the edited six-minute arrest video above to her Facebook page on December 21, the same day as the arrest. It has garnered more than 3 million views and 108,000 shares. YouTube user Black Power Prince, whose connection to the family is unclear, published the full 29-minute video two days later.
According to The Star-Telegram, Craig called police on suspicion that her White neighbor had choked her 7-year-old son for littering on his property. The full video shows Craig and her daughters talking about the neighbor while they wait for police. Both videos show Martin talking to the neighbor before walking over to Craig. Martin responds to Craig’s explanation of the situation by asking, “Why don’t you teach your son not to litter?”
Their dialogue then escalates in intensity, with Martin saying, “If you keep pissing me off, I’ll arrest you too.” Then 15-year-old Jacques steps between the two, facing her mom, at which point Martin grabs Jacques from behind. Martin then pushes Jacques away, throws Jacqueline on the ground and points a Taser at Jacques and bystanders. Martin cuffs Jacqueline and Jacques as bystanders shout, locking them inside his cruiser before approaching 19-year-old Hymond and saying, “You’re going to jail, too.” The full video shows that Hymond’s phone camera remained on, but obscured, after she was placed in the cruiser.
The Department confirmed the arrest details in the report above from Police Chief Joel F. Fitzgerald. “Officer Martin violated state and departmental rules by using excessive force, being disrespectful and failing to fully investigate a criminal offense,” Fitzgerald wrote. He ordered Martin’s 10-day suspension and noted that Martin would return to active duty in the same neighborhood “to restore trust and credibility.”
The Star-Telegram reports that Hymond and her mother still face charges for ”interference with public duties, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and failing to provide identification.” Their cases, and that of the neighbor accused of assaulting Craig’s son, were sent to the local district attorney’s office and will be presented to a grand jury. Jacques was accused of “interfering with public duties” and released from juvenile detention the same day of her arrest.
Lee Merritt, Craig’s attorney, criticized the department’s actions as insufficient in a video with local activist Cory Hughes that he posted on his Facebook feed yesterday. “The police department has failed the city of Fort Worth and the people of Fort Worth,” he said. “They sent a clear message out to the African-American community and the world community. And I don’t care how many Black faces they put in uniform, they put a message out that our lives are less valuable.”
Merritt told The Star-Telegram and other media at a press conference yesterday that Craig and her family want the charges against them to be dropped, and for Martin to be fired.