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One Year After Viral Video Arrests, Jacqueline Craig Speaks Out

Protesters rallied in downtown Fort Worth Thursday to mark one year since the controversial arrests of Jacqueline Craig and her two teenage daughters.

The women were arrested after calling police for help. The officer involved in the arrests is still on the job.

On Thursday, Craig sat down with NBC 5 for her first one-on-one interview.

Craig said it's been a year of challenges that nothing could have prepared her for. She's lost her privacy, but she's also found her voice as an activist in her own right.

Craig never pictured herself marching the streets in protest.

"I've always been a loner," she said.

That all changed when video of her arrest thrust her family into the national spotlight. Fort Worth Police Officer William Martin tackled and arrested Craig and her teenage daughters after they'd called 911 to report that a neighbor had grabbed Craig's 7-year-old son by the neck.

"I feel like the job that God placed me here to do, protect my kids, that I failed at that," Craig said.

In the year since, there have been more challenges.

"A lot of bullying to my kids, a lot of rejection from jobs," Craig said.

She's also taken on a new role, as activist and supporter for those in similar cases, like Dorshay Morris, who was Tased after she, too, called police for help. The officer in her case was fired just this week.

Craig reached out to Morris and they've formed a bond. But she says it's bittersweet.

"When your children come to you and say, mom, what's different in her than us to where they felt like she was good enough to fire the officer that did it to her, but we weren't? That's a hard pill to swallow," Craig said.

Still, she wants to keep her children open.

"Letting them know that it's not every cop out there is bad," Craig said."“We, at some point, have to still have faith and trust that one day it will get better."

She says that only happens by holding officers accountable. She still wants Officer Martin fired and charged with assault, but she now sees an even greater goal down the road.

"If my grandson grows up and says my [grandmother] actually changed something for me, to where I don't have to deal with the racism that she did, that's my reward," Craig said.

Craig's attorney was also planning to file a federal civil rights lawsuit Thursday against Martin and the city as a whole.

Police and city leaders have been working to address race relations over the past year, forming a task force and promising more transparency in use of force cases.

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