Demoted for Leaking Video, Fort Worth Cops Sue City

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Two Fort Worth police officials are suing the city after they were demoted and accused of leaking body-camera footage that showed the controversial arrests of a black woman and her teenage daughters last December, reports the Dallas Morning News. Abdul Pridgen and Vance Keyes were demoted from chiefs to captains in May and unsuccessfully appealed the reassignments via an administrative process. Through their attorney, they both denied leaking the police video or the personnel files of Officer William Martin, who was disciplined in the 2016 arrests. In separate lawsuits filed this month, Pridgen and Keyes said they reported to Fort Worth Chief Joel Fitzgerald that Martin had used excessive force in the arrest of Jacqueline Craig and that he had filed a false affidavit about it. They said Fitzgerald reacted with “hostility.”

Earlier this year, Fitzgerald said he reassigned Keyes and Pridgen because they were not truthful with investigators when asked about the leak. The footage leaked to Craig’s attorneys shows Martin, a white police officer, wrestling Craig, a black woman, to the ground and pointing a stun gun at her daughters before putting them in handcuffs on Dec. 21. Craig had called police to complain that a neighbor had choked her young son after the boy allegedly littered. Martin was dispatched to the neighborhood and told Craig, “Why don’t you teach your son not to litter?” A video of the encounter shot by a neighbor went viral, and the leaked police body cam video added to the controversy.

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