Fort Worth

Police release two videos showing ‘Cop Watch' woman's arrest, police investigating use of force

The department says the woman was arrested after interfering with an ongoing investigation

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Fort Worth police released two videos Wednesday showing the arrest of a woman who says she was knocked unconscious while recording police.

Following public outcry from citizens and at least one member of the City Council, on Wednesday, the department released a body camera video and surveillance video obtained from a business that showed the interaction between Carolina Rodriguez and police officers.

The Fort Worth Police Department said Tuesday they were investigating an incident and arrest where a woman approached officers at about 3:30 a.m. Sunday as they investigated a hit-and-run crash involving a suspected drunken driver. Police said an officer told Rodriguez to move across the street "multiple times" and that when she didn't do so, an officer used force to arrest her.

Rodriguez told NBC 5 on Tuesday that in the moments before her arrest, she was recording a video for her YouTube page where she posts her self-described "cop watch" videos.

"What we do is we cop watch. A bunch of us, we cop watch. And all we do is we film police while they're doing their duties and just to make sure that they're not violating anyone's rights. That's what we do. We stand and we observe and watch what was going on," Rodriguez told NBC 5 on Tuesday.

In Rodriguez's YouTube video, she can be heard yelling at two police officers and confronting them before questioning another officer's demand that she leave the parking lot.

In the surveillance video, which does not include audio, two officers appear to be walking through the parking lot when they are approached by a woman recording on her phone. Another officer steps between them and, after a short time, appears to attempt to arrest the woman before she hits the ground.

The department also shared the officer's body camera video, which includes audio. In that video, an officer exits his police SUV and says, "Caroline, we're busy. Go to the other side of the street." She responds, "No, I'm not going to. What for? There's no investigation, no nothing." The officer told her to go to the other side of the street or get arrested and that he wouldn't warn her again. The woman replied, "What are you talking about?" He again told her to go to the other side of the street, and she responded, "Why? Wait. Tell me why first?" The officer then told the woman she was under arrest and told her to put her arm behind her back and turn around. The woman can be heard saying, "No, no, no, no, OK," as the officer puts her arm behind her back, and she falls to the ground. A few moments later, as the officer told the woman to stop resisting, snoring was heard, and one of the female officers said the woman was bleeding.

Rodriguez was taken to the hospital for her injuries. When she was released, police said she was booked into jail and charged with interference with public duties, resisting arrest and/or detention, evading arrest, and false alarm or report. Rodriguez was freed after posting bonds totaling $4,000. It's unclear if she has obtained an attorney.

While at a rally on Tuesday, Rodriguez told NBC 5 she was out filming police in the Entertainment District and was trying to ask officers why they were towing vehicles when she was arrested. She said she wasn't aware of any police investigation into a hit-and-run at the time.

Fort Worth city leaders met behind closed doors to discuss allegations of police brutality that left a woman bruised, bloodied, and hospitalized. The incident happened Sunday morning, when Carolyn Rodriguez was recording police. NBC 5’s Tahera Rahman joins us with what happened Friday.

"I had been milling about for about 15 minutes. Officer Kreuger came out of his vehicle and he just told me, 'You need to go across the street,'" Rodriguez said.

She said as she tried to ask the officer why she needed to move, he said she was under arrest, threw her to the ground, and that's the last thing she remembered.

Rodriguez, along with Fort Worth City Councilman Chris Nettles, said they wanted to see the police body camera video because she said you can't see what the officer did to her in her YouTube video.

In a statement issued Monday, Nettles said in Rodriguez's video that she approached the officers and asked why they were towing vehicles. Nettles said seconds later, Rodriguez gets knocked to the ground, and the camera goes dark. In the final seconds of her video, Nettles said Rodriguez had been knocked unconscious and that she could be heard snoring.

Nettles requested the police department release all body camera footage immediately and that the Fort Worth City Council call an executive session to discuss the incident before the next scheduled meeting in August.

"Due to the injuries Ms. Carolyn Rodriguez sustained ... I request that FWPD release the body camera footage of her arrest immediately," Nettles said in a statement. "I further request that a special call executive session be called for next Tuesday to discuss with legal and FWPD command staff of what actually occurred on the night in question."

Nettles also asked the mayor and City Council to call a public comment meeting so that residents could share their thoughts or concerns about the arrest.

Rodriguez, whose eye socket and cheeks were bruised black and yellow, told NBC 5 on Tuesday she suffered a concussion in the arrest. She said she needed stitches on her lip and that her elbow and shoulder were knocked out of joint. She said she felt sore in her neck, arm and back.

"Just really beat bad. But I just don't remember it, thank goodness," Rodriguez said.

When asked by NBC 5 if she was planning litigation over her arrest, Rodriguez nodded yes and said she needed answers.

"This hurt, this hurt a lot and maybe that will show them that they need to start doing some things that are a little bit better," Rodriguez said.

Fort Worth police said on Wednesday that the officer's use of force and Rodriguez's actions are being investigated by the Fort Worth Police Department's Major Case and Internal Affairs Units to determine compliance with policies and procedures. Fort Worth police said access to the investigation has also been provided to the Office of the Police Monitor to ensure transparency and accountability.

While the department has not confirmed the officer's name, they confirmed Wednesday that he has been with the Fort Worth Police Department for seven years and has been administratively reassigned out of patrol pending the outcome of the investigation.

Fort Worth police said there will be no additional statements until they have an update on the investigation.


"First Amendment audits" are when people exercise their right to record video in public places while also trying to solicit responses from officials.

In some cases, the videos appear provocative with the goal of testing whether a public official violates a person's constitutional rights.

Videos of this type of interaction have become popular on social media, where they can amass millions of views.

Fort Worth city leaders met behind closed doors to discuss allegations of police brutality that left a woman bruised, bloodied, and hospitalized. The incident happened Sunday morning, when Carolyn Rodriguez was recording police. NBC 5’s Tahera Rahman joins us with what happened Friday.
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