Fort Worth Race and Culture Task Force close to wrapping up work

City leaders said work is nearing an end on the Race and Culture Task Force created in the wake of a racially charged arrest incident nearly two years ago.

City Manager David Cooke briefed the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday about key elements the task force is still considering.

“Some of the things they’re talking about is independent oversight of the police department,” Cooke said.

Chief Joel Fitzgerald joined the department about a year before the Craig arrests. The task force has heard from him and many in the community over the last year.

But last week there was news the chief might be considering the police commissioner job in Baltimore.

“Whether the chief stays whether he leaves it’s going to be up to the mayor and city council to make sure those recommendations move forward,” said task force co-chair Rosa Navejar.

Final recommendations will be delivered to the mayor and city council in December.

Cooke says, regardless of the chief’s status at that point, the task force serves as an independent body. The task force was formed after the Dec. 2016 arrest of Jacqueline Craig and her two daughters.

“The issues that the Race and Culture Task Force has been dealing with really don’t related to any single chief or any single personality in the city of Fort Worth,” Cooke said. “We’re gonna have to look at the Race and Culture Task Force recommendation independent of all that.”

Cooke says as far as the chief’s status, there’s been no letter of resignation and he hasn’t heard anymore from the chief about Baltimore.