The Fort Worth police officer who was suspended for ten days after his controversial arrests of a mother and her daughters gave his side of what happened in an interview with department investigators.
Officer William Martin, who is white, said his arrests of Jacqueline Craig, who is black, had nothing to do with race.
The incident occurred Dec. 21 when Martin was called to a neighborhood dispute in South Fort Worth.
Craig’s neighbor called police to report her 8-year-old son had littered in his yard and the boy’s family was threatening him.
Craig claimed the neighbor had choked her son.
In his interview with internal affairs investigators, Martin said he has something against people who litter.
"Littering is kind of one of my pet peeves,” Martin said. “It's like people driving with no insurance. You know, when I pull someone over and they don't have insurance or anything. It just drives me nuts when I see somebody throwing a McDonald's bag out of the car when they're going down the freeway."
The city released a video of Martin’s interview under the Texas open records law.
The officer asked Craig why she didn’t teach her son not to litter and suggested the neighbor had the right to grab the boy.
Martin slammed Craig to the ground and arrested her. She had warrants for unpaid traffic tickets.
Her two daughters also were arrested and accused of interfering.
In the internal affairs interview, Martin explained why he seemed to side with the neighbor.
“What kind of person is going to grab a random kid and choke him for no reason at all?” Martin asked. “The reason I believe the kid threw something on the ground is because no sane person would just randomly grab a kid. It didn’t make sense.”
Charges against the Craigs were dropped.
The neighbor was later charged with misdemeanor assault.
Martin is appealing his suspension and if successful, could be awarded back pay.
Meanwhile, a separate investigation into who leaked Martin’s body camera footage and discipline record continues.