FWPD Chief on viral video: "a difference between rude and racism"

- The woman arrested by a Fort Worth police officer along with her two daughters was scheduled to meet Friday with detectives who will investigate allegations that her 7-year-old son was choked by a neighbor.

That’s why Jacqueline Craig called 911 in the first place. But she’s the one who ended up going to jail.

Video of Craig’s arrest went viral Wednesday with over a million views. She said she called police to report that her neighbor had choked her son for littering. Craig’s lawyer said the man admitted assaulting the boy because the child “defied him.”

Police did not arrest the neighbor. Instead, the responding officer questioned Craig’s ability to raise her children.

“Why don’t you teach your son not to litter,” the officer asks.

Then he arrested Craig and her 19 and 15-year-old daughters. They spend the night in jail charged with resisting arrest.

“Distraught because that… I mean, it’s absurd how you can feel like he did not do anything wrong. If you’re actually looking at the footage that’s displayed across social media,” Craig told reporters after being released on bond.

Jasmine Crockett, one of Craig’s two attorneys, said the family wants the opportunity to review police audio and video before they discuss what type of disciplinary action they would like to see against the police officer.

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 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, 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.

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