North Texas

Fort Worth Police Officer Set to Stand Trial Monday for Shooting, Injuring Man

A Fort Worth police officer is set to stand trial next week for shooting and injuring a man who had dropped to his knees while holding a large barbecue fork.

The man's family knows how unusual it is to get an indictment against a police officer. So that makes the trial, set to start at the Tarrant County Courthouse on Monday, that much more significant.

Craig Adams's family says he had stepped outside his house two years ago to get some fresh air. At the same time, Officer Courtney Johnson was responding to a call of someone banging on a neighbor's door with a large knife.

"He's not the type of person that would be aggressive toward anybody," said cousin Kenneth Finley.

Adams, a black man, was holding a barbecue fork when approached by Johnson, a white officer.

Dash camera video shows what happened when Johnson pulled up. Adams dropped the fork and dropped to one knee. Johnson shot him after that, once in the arm, then rushed to help.

"If you look at the video, there was nothing that was done on Craig's behalf that would warrant him being shot. It just doesn't make sense," Finley said.

The police department called this an "unintentional shooting," saying Johnson didn't mean to pull the trigger. But Adams claims the officer used a racial slur before firing.

The family is keeping an open mind while seeking justice.

"If he was being malicious, then I think that he should pay for that," Finley said. "On the other side of the coin, if it was an accident, then it was just an accident. In God's eyes when you do wrong, you pay for it. He still loves you, and so that's the way I look at this thing right here. When you do wrong, you just gotta pay for it."

Now he's hoping the case finally hitting a courtroom will send a message far beyond the courthouse walls.

"If you're being paid to protect and serve citizens, that should be your job," Finley said.

Adams recovered from the shooting, but still can't fully use his arm.

Johnson still works for the Fort Worth Police Department, though he's on desk duty, not in uniform. His attorneys did not return NBC 5's calls for comment.

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