FW Officer Defends Actions in Recorded Arrest, Jacqueline Craig Rebuts with Emotional Testimony - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

FW Officer Defends Actions in Recorded Arrest, Jacqueline Craig Rebuts with Emotional Testimony

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A Fort Worth police officer came face to face Wednesday with the woman whose videotaped arrest went viral. (Published Wednesday, June 14, 2017)

    A Fort Worth police officer and the woman whom he arrested – in an encounter that was posted on social media and quickly went viral last December – testified Wednesday in a hearing for the officer's appeal of his suspension for excessive force.

    It was the first time Officer William Martin has spoken publicly since the arrest and subsequent 10-day suspension.

    Martin sat just a few feet away from Jacqueline Craig, watching the viral video and reliving the December day that changed both their lives.

    Craig's testimony was very emotional. She often looked straight at Martin, and at one point she said that a dog would have gotten more respect than her family did that day.

    Fort Worth Officer Defends Actions in Videotaped Arrest

    [DFW] Fort Worth Officer Defends Actions in Videotaped Arrest

    Officer William Martin spoke publicly for the first time Wednesday in his appeal of a 10-day suspension for excessive force in the incident that was viewed millions of times after a cellphone video was posted on social media.

    (Published Wednesday, June 14, 2017)

    "I felt hurt. I felt like I was being judged without you even knowing me," Craig said.

    Craig said she felt from the start that Martin didn't care about her accusations that a neighbor had choked her seven-year-old son for littering in his yard.

    "I felt worthless as a parent to know that I called somebody as help for my son and I didn't get it," Craig said in her testimony. "My children were there, and it was to the point that I couldn't protect my kids. And that's my job to protect them, and he took that away from me."

    Martin stared straight ahead while Craig spoke. But he did apologize during his testimony.

    "I would apologize for the way I talked to them," Martin said. "The fact that it seemed like I didn't care."

    In his account, Martin said he was responding to a call of a dispute between neighbors with no mention that Craig's son had been choked. When he arrived on scene, he said he didn't believe someone had been choked because he didn't see the child and no one had called for medical attention.

    Fort Worth Officer Testifies at Hearing Over Viral Video

    [DFW] Fort Worth Officer Testifies at Hearing Over Viral Video

    A Fort Worth police officer testifies at a hearing to appeal his suspension following the release of a viral video of him arresting a woman and her two daughters.

    (Published Wednesday, June 14, 2017)

    But Martin admitted to being rude and escalating the situation when he asked Craig why she didn't teach her son not to litter, instead of checking if the boy was OK.

    "I regret my choice of words," Martin said. "I shouldn't have asked her that."

    Martin said he was shoved in the scuffle that followed, and he does not believe he used excessive force in two instances. One was when he pushed a girl who was blocking his squad car door.

    "You see that my hand is on her upper chest, and as I pushed her, her neck leans forward, so it appears that I'm pushing her in the neck," Martin said.

    Fort Worth Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald testified Tuesday that he thought Martin "chopped" the girl in the throat.

    The second instance, Martin said, was when he raised Craig's older daughter's arms over her head when she wasn't answering his questions.

    Edited for Profanity: FWPD Viral Video

    [DFW] Edited for Profanity: FWPD Viral Video

    EDITED FOR PROFANITY: Video posted to Porsha Craver's Facebook page shows a Fort Worth police officer's interaction with a woman who called police to report a man grabbed and choked her 7-year-old son. The incident ends with two women and a 15-year-old arrested.

    (Published Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016)

    "Because she's still not under control," Martin testified. "She's still trying to walk away. She's still trying to put herself in a position of advantage."

    Martin has already served a 10-day suspension. He said this appeal is not about getting back lost days, but is about clearing his record and his name.

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