Fort Worth mom to file lawsuit a year after viral arrest

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A Fort Worth woman plans to file a civil rights lawsuit against the city over her controversial arrest.

It was exactly one year ago Thursday that Jacqueline Craig and her two daughters were arrested. She called police to report a neighbor who allegedly choked her son.

Responding officer William Martin instead arrested her. He was suspended for 10 days after cellphone video of the arrest went viral, but he remains on the force. The charges against Craig were dropped.

Craig’s attorney, Lee Merritt, said Thursday they are preparing to file a civil lawsuit in federal court.  It will cover claims spanning personal injury to a violation of the family's right to equal protection.

"There's a first amendment claim for Bria Hyman for recording,” Merritt said. “Obviously there's an excessive force claim under the 4th Amendment."

A small group protested in downtown Fort Worth on Thursday, marking the one-year anniversary.

"This city has not been responsive to the concerns of the African American community when it comes to Fort Worth policing."

The city formed a citizens committee after the Craig incident to identify issues of racial disparity.  Retired Star-Telegram columnist Bob Ray Sanders is on it. He says the protests are an embarrassment to the city, but he says change has been too slow.

"I understand they're frustration. Many of them have seen things and they've been promised things over and over and it doesn't seem to change,” Sanders said.

The city has said it would not offer Craig and her family any type of settlement. Merritt said their suit will be filed any day now, they are simply putting the finishing touches on the filing.