Faith-based group calls for Fort Worth PD chief to be fired

A faith-based group that calls itself "Coalition for Justice" wants the Fort Worth police chief fired.

Coalition for Justice has different reasons than the Fort Worth Police Association for wanting Chief Joel Fitzgerald fired. It wants Fitzgerald gone because they say he's made a series of poor decisions and he's out of touch with the African American community.

"The chief has shown himself to be untrustworthy," Michael Bell of Coalition for Justice said. "He's shown himself to be an incompetent leader and we can't believe a word he says,"

The group's issues with Fitzgerald began with what they call a "slap on the wrist" disciplinary action for Officer William Martin in the Jacqueline Craig arrest case last December. Group members also say Courtney Johnson, who was fired for shooting a man holding a BBQ fork, should've been fired much sooner than he was.

"We do expect Chief Joel Fitzgerald to be fired," Bell said. "But not as pawns of the POA. We have our own reasons that are out there."

Mayor Betsy Price reacted Thursday to the backlash hitting Chief Fitzgerald, which includes allegations that morale within the police department is extremely low.

"It's always worrisome when you hear that, but we'll work through it," she said. "There's lots of issues, there's still a lot of legal proceedings to go on some of these cases and we will work through it. For our citizens, I want them to know our officers, even if their morale is not where they'd like it to be, they will still be here dedicated to serve our citizens."

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