Video of Texas mother's arrest starts social media storm

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 22, 2016 2:53 PM

By Lisa Maria Garza

DALLAS (Reuters) - A video showing a white Fort Worth police officer in an escalating argument with a black woman he took into custody along with the woman's daughter touched off a social media storm on Thursday, stoking a debate on race and U.S. policing.

The Facebook live video of the Wednesday incident has been seen more than 1 million times. The woman identified by relatives as Jacqueline Craig, 46, is put on the ground and the officer holds a stun gun to her back after they argue about her 7-year-old son throwing paper on the ground.

Fort Worth Police said in a statement the incident is under internal investigation. They have not identified the officer. He was subject to racial taunts and profanity-laced abuse after the arrest from those who saw the incident unfold, the video showed.

A series of videos showing officers using deadly force against unarmed African-Americans has touched off protests and raised questions of racial bias in U.S. policing.

The six-minute video starts with the women discussing with the officer her anger over a man she said choked her child after the littering incident.

The officer, in a calm demeanor, is heard saying, "Why don't you teach your son not to litter?"

The comment appears to anger the women whose tone escalates and tells the officer he should be more concerned about a man who put his hands on her son rather than whether the child 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,” Craig says.

“Why not?” the officer asks.As the exchange escalates, Craig’s daughter, Brea Hymond, puts herself between her mother and the officer, which leads to a scuffle. The officer pulls out his Taser, forcing Craig on the ground and arrests her. The teenager was also taken into custody.

Craig and Hymond, 19, were booked into Mansfield Jail on Wednesday and each charged with resisting arrest, according to jail records.

S. Lee Merritt, a lawyer for the two women, was not immediately available for comment, but tweeted on Thursday that Fort Worth police did not file the original report of assault on Craig’s son.

(Reporting by Lisa Maria Garza; Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)