clear
Sunday November 19th, 2017 10:51AM
8:34AM ( 2 hours ago ) Weather Alert

White policeman suspended but not fired after video incident

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

DALLAS (AP) — A white Texas policeman was suspended without pay for 10 days, but will not be fired, after an incident in which he was caught on video wrestling a black woman and her daughter to the ground, Fort Worth Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald announced Monday.

Fitzgerald said the officer, identified by department officials as William Martin, violated policy, is sorry for his behavior and is eager to resume active duty at the end of the suspension. He said he has asked Martin, who will also be required to undergo additional training, to go back into the same community when the suspension ends "to repair relationships."

"We are not sanctioning bad behavior ... People make mistakes. We have levels of mistakes that every police officer makes," Fitzgerald said. "Some things deserve punishment; some do not. Some deserve termination and some do not."

The incident on Dec. 21 happened after Jacqueline Craig complained that a neighbor choked her 7-year-old son for allegedly littering in his yard. One of her daughters filmed the interactions between Craig and Martin.

In the video, Martin questions why Craig hadn't taught her son not to litter and later asks why the neighbor shouldn't have put his hands on her son. One of Craig's daughters tries to push her mother away from Martin, but the officer forces Craig and the daughter to the ground. He thrusts a stun gun into Craig's back and later points it at the daughter telling her to stay back.

He arrested Craig and her daughters on charges that include disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

The disciplinary report submitted to the Civil Service Commission, says Martin violated department policy by using excessive force and failing to thoroughly investigate. Other findings included neglect of duty, being discourteous to the public and conduct prejudicial to good order.

"Officer Martin violated state and departmental rules and policies by using excessive force, being disrespectful, and failing to thoroughly investigate a criminal offense," Fitzgerald writes in the letter.

Terry S. Daffron, an attorney representing Martin, said he has appealed the suspension.

"Clearly, we do not agree with the findings contained in the Chief's disciplinary letter," she wrote in an emailed statement. "We look forward to a fair, neutral, and impartial hearing process, free from political pressure and influence, one where Officer Martin will finally have a 'voice' and all of the evidence will be considered by the arbitrator."

Craig's attorney had demanded that Martin be fired and criminally charged, that all charges against the Craig family be dropped and that the neighbor be charged with assaulting her son. The attorney, S. Lee Merritt, did not immediately return a phone call Monday seeking comment, but he posted a video statement to Facebook Monday afternoon calling the suspension "intolerable" and describing it as a vacation.

"They are understandably in disbelief, shocked and upset," Merritt said of the Craig family. "There are still charges pending against the Craig family."

Fitzgerald said some members in the police chain of command did not agree with his disciplinary decision, but the ultimate decision was his to make. He referred questions about possible criminal charges to the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney's Office.

A spokeswoman for the district attorney said the office will send the entire incident file including the department's investigation to a grand jury to determine if criminal charges should be filed against any of the parties involved.

"The report on the Craigs, the officer and the neighbor will all come together before the grand jury," spokeswoman Sam Jordan said. "They could find to press charges against all or no one."

Jordan said the office will not make any recommendations to the grand jury about charges for any of the parties. She said there is no set date, but the grand jury that was just seated will hear the case in the "next few months."

The video was viewed millions of times on Facebook, and letters and emails have been rolling into the department and to city officials asking that Martin be fired.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Basketball, AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, College Sports, AP Sports - Men's College Basketball
© Copyright 2017 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Judge: Bears near US-Canada border merit endangered status
A judge has ruled that grizzly bears in Montana and Idaho near the Canadian border can be considered endangered even if they are not on the brink of extinction
4:11PM ( 21 minutes ago )
Former officer injects new racial element in 2014 slaying
White former officer injects new racial element in slaying of daughter's black boyfriend
3:57PM ( 35 minutes ago )
Violence in Charlottesville leads to soul-searching at ACLU
After Charlottesville, ACLU confronts a once-heretical notion: Maybe some speech isn't worth defending
3:41PM ( 50 minutes ago )
U.S. News
Tribal coalition joins blitz to save national monument areas
A tribal coalition has joined the blitz to stop Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke from downsizing or eliminating national monument areas, sending letters to President Donald Trump saying that "making America great again" includes honoring tribal history
4:27PM ( 5 minutes ago )
Egypt angered by US aid cut over human rights concerns
Egypt has reacted angrily to the U.S. decision to cut or delay nearly $300 million in military and economic aid over concerns about Cairo's human rights record, a surprise decision given the countries' close ties since President Donald Trump took office
4:19PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Nasty: Good pitching beats good hitting (so far) at LLWS
Some managers were struck by the power of the tournament's young hitters headed into the Little League World Series
4:11PM ( 20 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Billy Payne retiring as Masters, Augusta National chairman
Billy Payne to retire as Augusta National chairman after 11 years of substantial change that include female members and growth overseas
2:24PM ( 2 hours ago )
Strong armed: Browns rookie quarterback Kizer named starter
Browns name rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer their starter
1:17PM ( 3 hours ago )
College football on Facebook: Site to stream 15 games in '17
Facebook has struck a deal for exclusive rights to 15 college football games this season that will be live streamed over the social media network
12:46PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Sports
10 Things to Know for Today
Among 10 Things to Know: Trump revisits Charlottesville comments in angry speech in Phoenix; US Navy dismisses 7th Fleet commander after warship accidents; ESPN broadcaster Robert Lee taken off University of Virginia football game because of his name
7:41AM ( 8 hours ago )
On Basketball: Kyrie gets a new address, but Cavs win trade
Kyrie Irving gets his new address and Isaiah Thomas gets to play with LeBron, so they both can say they won in this Celtics-Cavs blockbuster deal
2:30AM ( 14 hours ago )
Boston bound: Cavs trade Irving to Celtics for Thomas, more
Cavaliers deal Kyrie Irving to Celtics for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder and potential lottery pick
12:04AM ( 16 hours ago )
AP Online Basketball
Latest: 2 Confederate statues shrouded in Charlottesville
Two statues of Confederate generals have been shrouded with large black tarps in Charlottesville
3:19PM ( 1 hour ago )
Trump preaches unity to vets after fiery political speech
President Donald Trump returned to calls for unity and love as he spoke to veterans at an American Legion conference a day after a searing speech tearing into the media and members of his own party
3:08PM ( 1 hour ago )
California dad gets 25 years to life in son's killing
California man who admitted killing his 5-year-old son amid custody battle scheduled to 25 years to life in prison
2:47PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
Report: Half of state's labor force holds bachelor's degrees
A new report finds that half of all workers in Massachusetts held a bachelor's degree or higher in 2016, marking the first time any U.S. state has reached that threshold
12:25PM ( 4 hours ago )
Secret hearings held in ex-Oklahoma City cop's rape case
An appeal raising questions about DNA evidence in the case of an ex-Oklahoma City police officer convicted of raping women while on duty is playing out in secret
11:00AM ( 5 hours ago )
Studies: Automated safety systems are preventing car crashes
Researchers say safety systems are beginning to live up to their potential to reduce crashes significantly
10:48AM ( 5 hours ago )
Top U.S. News short headlines
ESPN broadcaster Robert Lee taken off UVA game due to name
ESPN moves broadcaster Robert Lee off Virginia's season opener because of recent violence in Charlottesville sparked by decision to remove Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee statue
12:07AM ( 16 hours ago )
NC State dismisses 2 players, suspends 3 for misconduct
North Carolina State coach Dave Doeren has dismissed two players from the football team and suspended three others for violating athletics department and team rules pertaining to marijuana and alcohol
5:24PM ( 23 hours ago )
Army-Navy to play in NJ in 2021; Philadelphia 4 more times
Army and Navy will be played in Philadelphia four times from 2018-2022, returning to its most frequent host city, and in 2021 in East Rutherford, New Jersey
4:45PM ( 23 hours ago )
College Sports
US college teams in Barcelona during van attack, players OK
US college men's basketball teams in Barcelona during van attack, players OK
6:18PM ( 5 days ago )
After hearing, UNC now awaits NCAA ruling in academic case
North Carolina has wrapped up a two-day hearing with an NCAA infractions committee panel that will decide whether the school faces penalties tied to its multi-year academic scandal
3:20PM ( 6 days ago )
US college teams near Barcelona van attack
Oregon State and Clemson men's basketball teams were at a hotel in Barcelona near where a van drove into pedestrians
2:52PM ( 6 days ago )
AP Sports - Men's College Basketball
Judge: Bears near US-Canada border merit endangered status
A judge has ruled that grizzly bears in Montana and Idaho near the Canadian border can be considered endangered even if they are not on the brink of extinction
4:11PM ( 21 minutes ago )
Former officer injects new racial element in 2014 slaying
White former officer injects new racial element in slaying of daughter's black boyfriend
3:57PM ( 35 minutes ago )
Violence in Charlottesville leads to soul-searching at ACLU
After Charlottesville, ACLU confronts a once-heretical notion: Maybe some speech isn't worth defending
3:41PM ( 51 minutes ago )
Charlottesville covers Confederate statues with black shroud
Workers in Charlottesville shrouded statues of two Confederate generals in black to symbolize the city's mourning for a woman killed while protesting a white nationalist rally earlier this month
3:06PM ( 1 hour ago )
Groups make last-minute push to save national monument areas
Conservation groups are airing TV ads and creating parody websites in a last-minute blitz to stop Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke from downsizing or eliminating national monument areas that cover large swaths of land and water in the nation
2:53PM ( 1 hour ago )