A controversial videotaped arrest of a Fort Worth mother started last week when her 7-year-old son discarded some raisins on a sidewalk in front of a neighbor's home, the mother and her attorney said Wednesday.
Attorney Lee Merritt and social activist Cory Hughes are asking for charges against Jacqueline Craig and her two daughters to be dropped and for charges to be filed against a Fort Worth police officer and resident following the arrest last week that went viral on social media.
Police are forwarding the case to the Tarrant County District Attorney, who must now decide whether to file charges or drop the matter. DA spokeswoman Samantha Jordan said the office was waiting for the "complete file" before making a decision.
Merritt, Hughes and Craig spoke at a news conference Wednesday Dec. 28, 2016 following a meeting with Fort Worth Chief of Police Joel Fitzgerald regarding the arrest of Craig and her two daughters.
In a video posted to Porsha Craver's Facebook page last week, a woman identified as Craig is heard telling a Fort Worth police officer that she called for help after a man grabbed and choked her son for littering and "defying him" when he ordered the child to pick up paper.
- CLICK HERE to see the unedited video on Facebook (WARNING: Video contains graphic language, viewer discretion advised)
Merritt said Wednesday the "paper" ended up being a raisin from an after school snack that the child discarded as he walked along the sidewalk.
In the video, the officer, who was called to follow up on the report of an alleged assault, can be heard asking 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."
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To which the officer responded, "Why not?"
After that, the situation quickly escalated and the officer can be seen forcing several women to the ground and placing them in handcuffs.
According to Merritt, the Craig family face charges of interference with a public duty, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and failing to provide identification.
The resident accused by the family of assaulting the child is not yet facing any charges, according to Merritt, despite the fact that the child was seen by a doctor and a diagnosis was documented after the incident. Merritt declined to elaborate on what the diagnosis was.
According to Merritt, Fitzgerald said in a meeting Wednesday that there was a clear violation of policy in the incident and that he is open to pursuing punishment against the officer for the way the situation was handled.
Merritt said he believes the officer could face a number of charges including assault, abuse of authority and official oppression.
Craig's lawyers said they understand the police have an investigation to undertake with regard to the officer, but urge that action could be taken more swiftly to remove the charges against Craig and her daughters and to bring forward a charge against the neighbor.
Merritt added Wednesday that one of Craig's children, a 15-year-old, was kicked by police while in handcuffs.