Continued questions one week after Fort Worth viral arrest video

It's been one week since video of a black woman and her two daughters being arrested by a Fort Worth police officer went viral. But there's still unrest and tension between police and the community.

During the police chief's advisory board meeting on Thursday night, last week’s arrest Jacqueline Craig and her daughters was raised by some.

Chief Joel Fitzgerald wasn’t at the meeting, but it didn’t stop people who have been pressing him on the controversy from being there.       

The image of the Fort Worth police officer arresting Craig has not dimmed. In fact, there's still a tremendous struggle to bring it into sharper focus — both for the police and the public.

Rev. Michael Bell is a member of the Fort Worth Police Chief's Advisory Committee, a mix of clergy, activists, police and community leaders.

“They feel the need to address this issue because it keeps mushrooming,” Bell said.

The committee met privately Thursday night.  The discussion included a panel of police officers with internal investigations, procedural justice, neighborhood police and patrol officers to explain department procedures and policies.

Those inside the meeting say they discussed the video, the procedure for the arrests that were made and the police departments' policies. There were some disagreements and back and forth on how things should be handled that made it hard to move the discussion forward.

Community activists who were in the meeting say they got some of their questions answered but still have a lot of work to do.

“We talked about the incident that happened, how it occurred. We weren't able to get into the details of it because of the investigation is an ongoing investigation,” said Talben Pope with the committee. “But I think the community left, leaders and people who came left with more sense of direction on how policy and procedures work.”

“It's late. They should've done this a long time ago,” Bell said. “If there's gonna be trust, then they're going to have to communicate with our community.”

Rev. Kyev Tatum was also there.

"In a real sense people in these communities who are suffering have still not been heard,” Tatum said.

The officer involved is on restricted duty, and the investigation into what happened is only a week old.

Chief Fitzgerald has already said after watching the video, he thinks the officer was being rude but not racist. He also said if there was an alleged crime against a 7-year-old child, why didn't the officer make that a higher priority.

But Tatum and Bell say there are other questions they believe deserve to be answered quickly.

"No one is asking for anything outlandish,” Bell said. “We want answers. Why can't they just give us answers?"

Among the questions, Bell wants to know why the resisting arrest charges still stand against Jacqueline Craig and her daughters. And he wants to know what, if anything, is being done to investigate the alleged choking incident involving the neighbor.

"There's serious disconnect between city officials and the African-American community, including the clergy,” Bell said.

Bell says closing the gap is critical on an issue that didn't come up overnight, and may take longer to solve.

"Yes, we support the blue. But we also support the black and the brown, too, who are doing right,” Tatum said. “But if you black, brown or blue who are not doing right, then we can't support you."

Ministers say they're forming a coalition and hope to get a meeting with the chief at some point to talk about their concerns and execrations.

Up Next:


  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories You May Be Interested In - includes advertiser stories