Feedback
News

White Texas Cop’s Arrest of Three Black Women Appears Racist: Lawyer

Woman in Texas Arrest Video: I Was Trying to Protect My Child 1:36

Video of a white Texas police officer's violent arrest of a black woman and her two teenage daughters suggests that the incident has "racism ... all over it," the women's attorney said Thursday night.

The Fort Worth Police Department hasn't identified the officer, who is seen in the video wrestling at least two of the women to the ground Wednesday and pointing a Taser at a third person. The video quickly went viral after it was posted on Facebook.

IMAGE: Protest in Fort Worth, Texas
Protesters gather Thursday night in Fort Worth, Texas, after a white Texas police officer was seen in video wrestling a black woman to the ground before arresting her and her two teenage daughters. Joyce Marshall / AP

Several dozen people protested Thursday night at the former Tarrant County Courthouse in downtown Fort Worth to demand that the officer be fired.

The confrontation began after Jacqueline Lanette Craig, 46, called police to report that a white neighbor had choked her 7-year-old son.

In the video, the neighbor tells the officer that Craig's son had left litter on his property. Craig and the officer — who asks her, "Why don't you teach your son not to litter?" — get into an argument, and when Craig's 15-year-old daughter tries to intervene, the officer tackles her.

At one point, he pulls out his Taser as he wrestles the women to the ground.

Craig was arrested on outstanding traffic warrants and suspicion of resisting arrest. Craig's 15-year-old daughter, whom NBC News isn't identifying because she is a minor, also was arrested, as was Brea Shcole Hymond, who recorded the video.

All three were released on bond Thursday.

Family Seen in Violent Arrest Video Want Officer Fired and Prosecuted 1:08

"What I felt I was actually doing was protecting my child, and it didn't happen," Craig told reporters Thursday night. "It made me feel less of parent when I couldn't protect my child when he needed it."

Craig's attorney, S. Lee Merritt, said all of the charges were "completely made up just to justify the unlawful arrest."

Merritt said the family wants the charges dismissed and the neighbor who allegedly choked the boy charged. He said the officer should be fired and prosecuted.

After having reviewed the video, Merritt said, "The inference is racism is all over it."

Image: Brea Hymond and Jacqueline Craig
Brea Hymond and Jacqueline Craig wait to be released after their arrests Wednesday. Courtesy S. Lee Merritt

"If this was a white child who had been choked by a black man, there's no way on God's green Earth that they would be walking free and that the mother of that child would have been arrested along with this child's siblings," Merritt said.

In a statement, the Fort Worth Police Department said the officer had been placed on restricted duty pending an investigation.

"We acknowledge that the initial appearance of the video may raise serious questions," it said. "We ask that our investigators are given the time and opportunity to thoroughly examine this incident and submit their findings."