A video showing a white police officer in Fort Worth, Texas, violently arresting a black woman along with the woman’s daughters has sparked anger amid ongoing police violence against minorities. The confrontation erupted on Wednesday after Jacqueline Craig, 46, called police to report that a white neighbor had choked her seven-year-old son for throwing paper on the ground. In the video, the officer can be seen wrestling Craig to the ground after a verbal altercation and pointing a stun gun at her back. Craig’s teenage daughter was also taken into custody after she put herself between her mother and the officer. Another daughter also was arrested, police said.
The person recording the arrests can be heard calling the officer a “racist pig.” As of Thursday night, the video had garnered 2.1 million views. Fort Worth police said in a statement that the officer, who was not named, was placed on restrictive duty status and the incident is under investigation. “The initial appearance of the video may raise serious questions,” the police department said. “We ask that our investigators are given the time and opportunity to thoroughly examine the incident and to submit their findings.”
A series of videos showing officers using deadly force against unarmed African-Americans in recent years has sparked protests and raised concerns of racial bias and excessive force in US policing. The Texas chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) defended the women, saying the officer “ignored basic community policing standards and his own responsibility to de-escalate the confrontation.”
“When the mother of a seven-year-old boy calls the police to report an assault on her son, the responding officer should expect to find her distraught,” Texas ACLU Executive Director Terri Burke said Thursday. “This incident and countless others like them demonstrate that for people of color, showing anything less than absolute deference to police officers — regardless of the circumstances — can have unjust and often tragic consequences,” Burke said. Burke said incidents like these are a “threat to public safety.” “If a black woman in Fort Worth can’t call the cops after her son is allegedly choked by a neighbor without getting arrested, why would she ever call the cops again?”