A Texas woman who says Fort Worth Police violated her rights after she was forcefully arrested has been awarded $150,000 in a lawsuit she filed against the city.
It was nearly six years ago when the video of Jacqueline Craig’s arrest went viral, garnering more than five million views and causing an uproar in the city. At the time, protests ensued calling for the arresting officer, William Martin, and former Fort Worth Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald to be fired.
“I, for a while, have called Jacqueline Craig the Rosa Parks of our time,” Craig’s attorney, Lee Merritt told local news station WFAA. “Her experience has changed the culture of policing in Fort Worth. She will remain a staple in the conversation for police reform.”
In a lawsuit filed against the city, the plaintiff accuses Martin of excessive force and alleges that lawmakers “failed to supervise or discipline officers who used excessive force and failed to try to identify those officers.”
The incident began when Martin responded to Craig’s call for police assistance after witnessing her son being choked by a neighbor. When the officer arrived on the scene, he was recorded questioning Craig’s parenting skills, according to court documents.
A heated altercation ensued and led to Craig and her 15-year-old daughter being swung to the ground and handcuffed. The city’s police chief was relieved from his duties shortly thereafter and the arresting officer received a 10-day suspension following the incident, which has led the local community to become vocal in unfair city policies, Merritt said.
“So many members of the community are now regular attendees to city council meetings,” he said. “But not only that, we’ve seen commissions that have been put together in Jacqueline Craig’s honor, that have been put together to discuss ways that the expansive Fort Worth Police Department can be reformed. And we’ve seen some reforms implemented that I think will make the community a safer place.”