A white Fort Worth, Tx., police officer whose arrest of a black woman and her two teenage daughters went viral on social media has been suspended without pay for 10 days. The family’s supporters criticized the punishment after it was announced yesterday, reports the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Officer William Martin was “contrite” and “sorry” about the incident, said Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald, calling the suspension “significant punishment.”
Craig, 46, had called police to report that she suspected that her neighbor, an adult man, had choked her 7-year-old son because he dropped some raisins in his yard and refused to pick them up when asked. Martin responded to the call Dec. 21 and the situation soon escalated. A daughter of Jacqueline Craig, the woman who called police, recorded the incident on her cellphone. “Officer Martin violated state and departmental rules and policies by using excessive force, being disrespectful, and failing to thoroughly investigate a criminal offense,” Fitzgerald said in a disciplinary letter. Fitzgerald, who previously said Martin was rude but not racist, said the officer will undergo more training before he returns to duty.