Riding the backlash of last week’s viral video involving a Fort Worth police officer, the attorney for a black man shot in July by another officer released a video Tuesday of the incident, which he said was unjustified.
The lawyer, Nate Washington, said the shooting left David Brandon Collie, 33, paralyzed from the waist down and cited a Tarrant County grand jury’s decision not to indict his client on a charge of aggravated assault against a public servant as evidence that he was wronged.
The shooting occurred on July 28, after police were called to an apartment complex in the 2700 block of North Normandale Street in west Fort Worth. The complaint against Collie stated that he threatened a Tarrant County sheriff’s deputy with a box blade.
Washington said a box blade was recovered by officers 10 feet from where Collie was shot, but he declined to say whether it belonged to his client. But Washington said that the video does not show Collie with a weapon and that Collie was shot in the back while he was more than 30 feet away from officers and posed no threat.
Washington said he released the police dash cam video, obtained from the Tarrant County district attorney’s office, because he and his client think it’s important to show that questionable incidents against black people are more common than people realize.
Last week’s video of a Fort Worth police officer’s questioning and arresting a black woman and two of her daughters — after the woman called police to report an assault of her 7-year-old son — resulted in calls for the officer’s firing and cries of racism from some in the community.
About 30 people participated Tuesday night in a second protest downtown against police misconduct. Protesters called for the immediate firing of the officer who was accused last week of overlooking the suspect in the choking of the 7-year-old son of Jacqueline Craig.
Protesters maintained that police arrested the mother while giving the suspect accused of choking the boy a free pass.
Those participating in the protest said Craig’s son is one of the many young victims of police misconduct.
Angela Darden of the Tarrant County branch of the Next Generation Action Network, which held the protest, said her nephew no longer trusts police officers, whom he blames for killing his father, Jermaine Darden, in 2013. Darden died after the execution of a no-knock warrant during a drug raid after he was struck with a Taser.
“My nephew wanted to die so he could see his father again,” Darden said. “We need to stop acting like none of us matter, because all lives matter.”
‘The process has problems’
City leaders held a news conference on Friday, with Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald calling the officer’s actions “rude” but not a display of racism. Mayor Betsy Price said she had concerns about what she saw on the video but said it was an “isolated incident.”
Both Fitzgerald and Price have asked the community to trust that they will do the right thing as the investigation moves forward. Police responded to concerns about the arrest Tuesday using Twitter.
“Mayor Price asked us to trust the process, but the process has problems,” Washington said in a statement.
Washington said most of Fort Worth’s police officers are good men and women who do their jobs in a professional manner.
“Unfortunately, as a former assistant district attorney in this county and as an attorney that has defended the liberty of hundreds of people in the community over the past decade, I know the number of bad officers is not insignificant,” he said in a written statement. “I know that a culture exists that makes it extremely difficult for good officers to report the misdeeds of the bad ones.”
Although a Tarrant County grand jury declined to indict Collie in September, according to court records, the case against the officer — identified only as “Officer Barron” — who shot Collie has not yet been presented to a grand jury, according to Sgt. Marc Povero, a police spokesman.
“Until the internal case is closed, we are unable to release more details,” Povero’s statement said.
Details of shooting
In Collie’s case, Fort Worth police were looking for two suspects in connection with a late-night robbery that occurred in the parking lot of a gas station near Normandale Street and Las Vegas Trail. One of the suspects displayed a silver handgun and robbed someone, and then both suspects fled on foot to a nearby apartment complex, according to a news release.
Barron and Flores were in a Fort Worth patrol car working an off-duty assignment and saw someone matching the description of one of the robbers duck behind a row of bushes, according to the release.
As the officers approached and exited the patrol car, the suspect began walking away from them and a sheriff’s deputy at the scene. The officers gave oral commands for the suspect to stop; however, he continued walking away. He was told again by the officers to stop and show the officers his hands, one of which was in a pants pocket.
The suspect then removed a silver object from his pocket and pointed it directly at the deputy, according to the news release. The officer saw the silver object, believed the man was threatening the deputy with a firearm, and fired two rounds at Collie, striking him once in the lower torso.
The suspect dropped the silver object, police said, which turned out to be a box cutter. The officer immediately began to treat Collie’s gunshot wound and bleeding with his department-issued tactical medical kit until paramedics arrived.
Longer version of viral video
In the incident involving the arrests of mother and her two daughters, a full version of a viral video reveals more than 22 minutes of new footage from before the officer arrived and after the arrests.
The full video, posted Friday on YouTube, is almost 30 minutes long and does not reveal any major new information about the arrests.
The version of the video that went viral after it was posted Wednesday night — with 3.2 million views on Facebook, to date — is six minutes long and doesn’t include portions from the beginning and end. That six-minute video was posted on Facebook by a family relative, Porsha Craver, who recorded it on another phone.
The longer Facebook Live video, shot by Jacqueline Craig’s daughter Brea Hymond, 19, begins with Craig and her family confronting a man painting his fence in the 7400 block of Rock Garden Trail. Then, viewers hear Craig’s 911 call saying the man assaulted her 7-year-old son by grabbing his neck for littering.
Seven minutes in, an unidentified man who appears to know Craig gets out of a white car, approaches the man painting his fence, tells him to keep his hands off the boy, gets into his car and drives away.
When the officer arrives, he first asks the accused man what happened, then asks Craig what happened.
While she gives the officer her account, Craig, 46, says her son’s littering didn’t give the man the right to touch him.
“Why don’t you teach your son not to litter?” says the officer, who has not been identified.
“He can’t prove that my son littered,” Craig responds. “But it doesn’t matter if he did or didn’t, it doesn’t give him the right to put his hands on him.”
“Why not?” the officer says.
‘Who’s kicking my door?’
A struggle between the two ensues and Craig’s 15-year-old daughter, Jacques Hymond, steps between them.
The officer then pulls his Taser, wrestles Craig to the ground and puts her in handcuffs before pointing the Taser at Jacques, who was lying in the street. She is also handcuffed and placed with her mom in the police vehicle.
The screen goes black about 16 minutes in, when the officer arrests Brea Hymond and takes the phone from her but does not turn it off.
Around 20 minutes into the video, a conversation between the officer and Jacques is heard.
“Who’s kicking my door? Who’s kicking my door? Was that you?” the officer asks.
“It don’t matter. You kicked me,” Jacques says.
“… When a police officer tells you to get in the car, you get in the car,” the officer says.
Jacques told the Star-Telegram after the incident that she was “just trying to protect my mom.”
In the final 15 minutes of the video, the officer talks to Craig and Jacques in the patrol car before Jacques is taken by another officer to a juvenile detention center.
The officer turns the phone off just after the 29-minute mark.
He has been placed on restricted duty pending the outcome of the investigation.
Staff writer Azia Branson contributed to this report, which includes material from the Star-Telegram archives.