Fort Worth

Fort Worth Pastors Call for Equality Following Viral Video Outrage

Prayers for peace are common this time of year.

But nowhere do a group of Fort Worth pastors hope their prayers are answered more than in their own backyard.

“This officer felt it was time to target attack and to terrorize,” said Rev. K.P. Tatum, Jr.

Dozens of pastors gathered Saturday not because of Christmas but because of a viral video that’s now been viewed more than three million times.

The video shows a heated exchange between Jacqueline Craig and a Fort Worth police officer.

Craig is heard telling the officer that a man grabbed and choked her 7-year-old son for littering and "defying him" when the child was ordered to pick up the paper.

The officer asked Craig, "Why don't you teach your son not to litter?"

The mother said the man can't prove her son littered and noted that "it doesn't matter if he did or didn't, it doesn't give him the right to put his hands on him."

The officer responded, "Why not?"

The situation escalated when Craig's 15-year-old daughter stepped in.

Both were taken to the ground and arrested.

"I can’t say it was racism," Fort Worth Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald said Friday. "What I can say is that I noticed in the video that the officer was rude. And there is a difference between rude and racist.”

“Rude is driving slow in the passing lane," said Pastor Michael Bell at Saturday’s gathering. "The conduct of the Fort Worth Police officer was obviously racist. Period.”

Outrage over the video and what's happened in the days that followed prompted pastors to unite.

The officer is now on restricted duty.

They say that's not enough.

“We want Forth Worth to be the best city, not just for some for the privileged, but for all, including the African American community,” Rev. Tatum said.

Chief Fitzgerald has promised a swift and complete investigation.

Friday, an attorney for the Craig family filed a complaint against the man accused of grabbing her son.

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