Fort Worth

Fort Worth city, police leaders discuss alleged police brutality incident behind closed doors

The city council holds a special meeting requested by member Chris Nettles

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Fort Worth leaders met behind closed doors on Friday to discuss allegations of police brutality that left a woman bruised, bloodied, and hospitalized.

The encounter happened Sunday at 3:26 a.m. in the area of 1000 Foch St.

Fort Worth Police said officers were investigating a hit-and-run accident when Carolyn Rodriguez approached them while recording and broadcasting live on her social media pages.

Rodriguez posted her video online, and police released security camera footage and body-camera footage on Wednesday.

In the videos, Rodriguez can be seen and heard asking different officers questions about what they're doing. She can also be heard swearing. She follows two officers as she records and asks questions.

Another officer steps out of his patrol car and tells Rodriguez to move across the street, or she will be arrested.

Rodriguez questions the officer, and he swings her to the ground before restraining her.

Earlier in the week, Rodriguez told NBC about some of her injuries.

"I had a concussion," she said. "My shoulder was taken out of joint. My elbow was taken out of my joint. And then the contusions, stitches here on my lips (and eye)."

Fort Worth City Council Member Chris Nettles requested the special executive session meeting to watch and discuss the police videos with other city council members, and with police leaders.

“…And have discussions with thought pattern, process, and the investigation," Nettles explained after the meeting.

He said after hearing from the chief and other officers, though, he still has concerns.

“Concerns of her being arrested in the first place, concern of the use of force that took place," he said.

Nettles said officers should have sectioned off the crime scene.

“I can’t speak for her, but if there was such a perimeter that was set, I don’t think we would ever get to this point," he said.

He said while Rodriguez should have started complying with police and backing away, she also didn't deserve that use of force.

“I’ll be very candid: That type of behavior, we should not have an officer with PD with that type of behavior. That’s my stance. I didn’t see that she was aggressive enough to warrant that type of takedown. I’m grateful and thank God that she didn’t lose her life. Being knocked unconscious, who’s to say that she’s even with us today?” Nettles said.

While Friday's meeting was just a discussion, with no decision-making, Nettles said he did make requests.

“It is my recommendation that [the officer in question] really be dealt with seriously. Also, I think training needs to take place," he said.

Nettles said he also asked for command staff to have conversations with officers, and said police leaders seemed open to his requests.

“Not just de-escalation but how do you respond when someone’s exercising their first amendment right to record and ask questions," he explained.

Fort Worth police their Major Case and Internal Affairs units are investigating the incident to see if policies and procedures were followed.

The Office of the Police Oversight Monitor also has access to the investigation "to ensure transparency and accountability," the police department said in a news release.

The Police Monitor was also part of Friday's closed-door discussions but would not offer comment afterward.

Nettles said he'd also like the Office of the Police Oversight Monitor to hold meetings with the public and officers so everyone has an understanding of how these types of situations should be handled.

Police said Rodriguez was booked into jail after she was released from the hospital, and charged with Interference with Public Duties, Resisting Arrest and/or Detention, Evading Arrest, and False Alarm or Report.

Rodriguez is out on bond.

Police said the involved officer has been with the department for seven years. He has been reassigned out of patrol, pending the outcome of the investigation.

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