Fort Worth

Jacqueline Craig case is likely headed to federal court and this is why

Two views of Jacqueline Craig’s arrest: See the bodycam and cell phone videos side-by-side

Bodycam footage and cell phone video show the controversial arrest of a Fort Worth mother and her daughters after she called police to deal with a neighbor who had allegedly put his hands around her 7-year-old son's neck. Officer William Martin wa
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Bodycam footage and cell phone video show the controversial arrest of a Fort Worth mother and her daughters after she called police to deal with a neighbor who had allegedly put his hands around her 7-year-old son's neck. Officer William Martin wa

The city of Fort Worth has told Jacqueline Craig that it will not pay damages in the claims she filed against the city over her arrest in December 2016 that for months caused community outcry when a video of it went viral on social media.

In an Oct. 31 letter, Sophia Gatewood, the Fort Worth’s property and casualty manager, said the city is not liable for the injury claims under state laws nor is the city liable for any civil rights violations.

Lee Merritt and Jasmine Crockett, Craig’s attorneys, could not be reached for comment. It’s likely the Dec. 21, 2016, incident is headed to federal court.

Merritt spoke before the City Council on Tuesday night, as he has done frequently over the past several months. He told council members it would be the last time he does so before he is “constrained by litigation.”

For many weeks, dozens of residents have demanded that the city fire the officer, William Martin, and Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald. Martin has served a 10-day suspension.

Craig filed the claims in June on her behalf as well as her two daughters and son. The claim forms did not list a dollar amount sought for “injuries, mental anguish, anxiety and depression.”

When the claims were filed, Crockett said she hoped to resolve the claims without going to court.

Craig wrote on her form, “My children and I were assaulted, falsely imprisoned, subject to extreme distress and overall constitutionally violated by Officer Martin as I attempted to resolve a matter involving my son and an adult neighbor. Since this incident my family is in fear of being watched and harassed due to the aggressive and unprofessional behavior of Officer Martin.”

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