FORT WORTH, Texas - The Fort Worth mayor apologized in person Wednesday to the mother whose arrest was seen by thousands. But the mayor admitted her hands are tied when it comes to harsher punishment for the officer behind the arrest.
Jacqueline Craig still wants the officer seen in the viral arrest video fired. But Mayor Betsy Price said she doesn't have the power to give Craig what she wants.
Craig said she appreciates the meeting with the mayor and felt she was sincere in her apology. But Craig still wants the officer fired. And until that happens, she said her family can't heal.
It wasn't until Officer William Martin's body cam video was leaked a couple of weeks ago that Price and others at city hall changed their opinion of the arrests, believing the takedown was much more serious than they originally thought.
"She spoke with sincerity. I believe she's actually very apologetic as far as my situation goes,” Craig said.
The mayor didn't comment on the meeting. But overall, Craig says she is still disappointed that Officer Martin has not been fired and that her neighbor is charged with a misdemeanor assault instead of a felony for grabbing her son.
"She let me know she has no authority to do what I need done. That's charging the officer, firing the officer and charging my neighbor," Craig said. "Everything else, if you're not speaking to me about that, is basically blocked."
Martin's attorney gave more context to her client's demeanor. She provided an audio recording of Officer Martin's meeting with Chief Joel Fitzgerald last month.
"Make me understand how the possible injury to a child or a possible choking of a child was not the primary thing to be concentrated on when you got out there," the chief asked Martin.
"And that was my primary concern, you know, investigating that," he replied. "But it's hard to do when people are yelling."
Martin said he didn't think he did anything wrong but acknowledged he had a bad choice of words.
“I asked a stupid question. I have no idea why I asked her the question about not littering,” Martin said in the recording. “It's just something that popped in my head and came out, and I shouldn't have said it.”
Craig said she asked the mayor to have a meeting with the Tarrant County District Attorney to plead her case for her. Craig's attorney says they also will ask the DA for a meeting with the family.