Fort Worth officer to appeal excessive-force ruling at hearing

A white Fort Worth police officer's appeal of his 10-day suspension for using excessive force in the arrest of a black woman and her daughters is set for this week.

Officer William Martin's suspension could be overturned, upheld or modified in the disciplinary hearing scheduled to begin Tuesday.

Fort Worth Civil Service Commission secretary Monique Schomp says a decision will be made within 30 days of the submission of written briefs.

Martin was suspended without pay after the Dec. 21 arrest of Jacqueline Craig and her two daughters. Craig had called police to report a neighborhood dispute before her conversation with Martin became confrontational. A cellphone video showed Martin wrestling Craig and one daughter to the ground.

Martin rejected a reduced suspension to pursue his right to appeal.

His attorney argues he was the victim of bias. Martin's attorney wants text messages released from two commanding officers who were demoted and blamed for leaking Martin's body camera video and confidential personnel files.

"The text messages as I understand it go back to the date of Dec. 21, which is when this incident occurred. And I believe they are relevant because I believe they show the bias of the commanders involved in this case," said Terry Daffron, Martin's attorney.

The city wants the Texas Attorney General's Office to determine if those text messages are public record.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.