Fort Worth Man Pinned to the Ground, Punched by Police Officer During Arrest Captured on Camera - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Fort Worth Man Pinned to the Ground, Punched by Police Officer During Arrest Captured on Camera

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Community Rallies Over Fort Worth PD Force

    The Fort Worth Police Department is investigating another use of force incident involving one of their own. A group of community activists held a press conference Tuesday morning to discuss changes they wanted to see. (Published Tuesday, April 3, 2018)

    The Fort Worth Police Department is investigating another use of force incident involving one of their own.

    It involves the arrest of a man who was repeatedly punched while pinned on the ground, underneath two officers.

    At least two videos have surfaced capturing part of the encounter that began with a call about an intoxicated man who allegedly ran from police.

    New Information in Encounter Between Man and FW PoliceNew Information in Encounter Between Man and FW Police

    The Fort Worth Police Department is investigating another use of force incident involving one of their own. It revolves around the arrest of a man where he is repeatedly punched while pinned on the ground, underneath two officers.

    (Published Sunday, April 1, 2018)

    However, neither cell phone video captures what led up to the arrest of Forrest Curry.

    Jasmine Crockett, an attorney representing Curry, said her client was not drunk but instead had suffered a seizure before, and possibly during, the encounter with police.

    Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald said in a statement Sunday that the officers were responding to a call for backup from fire department personnel who told the officers that Curry, "appeared to be intoxicated and had attempted to assault them."

    It took three officers and one supervisor about five minutes to subdue Curry, Fitzgerald said.

    Encounter Between Man and FW Police Caught on VideoEncounter Between Man and FW Police Caught on Video

    Fort Worth police say the video may raise questions, but it doesn't sow everything that happened. Part of the encounter was captured by a man driving by. NBC 5 reporter Maria Guerrero has more details.

    (Published Sunday, April 1, 2018)

    When police arrived, the man was reportedly combative toward them and took off running when an officer approached him.

    Curry reportedly ran three blocks away before being brought to the ground.

    That is where the first cell phone video picks up as a man drives up to the scene.

    The video is only 45 seconds long.

    It shows Curry face-down, pinned to the ground and two officers on him trying to take him into custody. One officer appears to punch Curry at least four times and knees him during a struggle.

    The video does not show Curry’s hands.

    The 35-year-old is heard screaming, ‘Why are you punching me?’

    Neighbors also gather and some begin yelling at police to stop.

    “They was telling him to put your hands behind your back and let us cuff you or whatever, but how they had him they couldn’t cuff him and then they was just kicking him all in his ribs and stuff and they said the reason why it happened was because he hit the EMT, but I feel like that’s not a reason to hit on somebody,” said Quinisha Johnson, who lives near the Chaparral Apartments on Handley.

    She said she ran into her apartment to grab her cell phone after she saw an officer punch the man.

    “I’m just, ‘Oh my gosh, y’all didn’t have to handle that man.’ They could’ve hurt that man and it’s good that people was out there because there’s no telling what else they would have did,” she said.

    In Johnson’s video, close to the police officers and Curry, an officer is heard commanding Curry to put his arms behind his back and to stop.

    An officer accuses Curry of hitting a MedStar personnel.

    Curry said he didn’t.

    The other officer is seen kneeing Curry.

    Fort Worth police released a statement following the circulation of the first cell phone video saying that the clip did not show the entire four and a half minute struggle to get Curry into custody.

    A struggle that took several officers.

    Johnson’s video also shows medical personnel tending to Curry after the arrest.

    Curry was arrested for public intoxication, evading arrest, resisting arrest and local warrants. Curry is currently being held in the Tarrant County Corrections Center on $2,250 bond.

    Community activist Rod Smith told NBC 5 that he met with Curry and said he is in pain but in good spirits.

    Asked what he has to say to people who saw the video and said police were justified, Smith responds: “I would say, 'How the hell do you see that? How does somebody being down on the ground, I’m down in a surrendering stance and I’m still getting beat! People say that Rodney King’s was justified but we clearly see that it wasn’t! You see people saying that Trayvon Martin was justified but it wasn’t! So how many lives, how many African-American lives, is it going to take for these officers in Fort Worth to say, 'You know what? Let’s look at our protocols. Let’s look at our procedures and let’s look within our department?’”

    Crockett, Curry’s attorney, said they spent Sunday trying to get Curry released from jail to receive medical attention since he's complained about injuries sustained when he was kicked. Crockett is also concerned about injuries to his head.

    Fort Worth police are conducting a use of force investigation, which is standard procedure in use of force arrests.

    The police department is urging calm and patience from the community as the incident is investigated.

    Fort Worth Reverend Kyev Tatum was among community leader who met with the police chief on Monday.

    Tatum said he has seen the videos circulating online and is calling for calm as the encounter is investigated.

    "We cannot get emotionally unhinged every time we have an incident of an officers that appears to, we don't even know all the facts," he said. "And until we know the facts then we can't make an assessment."

     As of Monday afternoon, both police officers involved in the initial encounter were still on duty, according to the police department.

    NBC 5 has requested body camera video of the entire encounter.

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