Fort Worth settles with Jacqueline Craig for $150K pending approval years after viral arrest

Craig’s family filed a lawsuit against the city five years ago after they say Fort Worth police violated their constitutional rights during their arrest.

FORT WORTH, Texas — The City of Fort Worth has agreed to pay $150,000 to Jacqueline Craig, pending council approval, to settle a lawsuit Craig filed against the city alleging police violated her rights during an arrest.

The arrest first occurred nearly six years ago, with video of the arrest going viral, gaining more than 5 million views and causing protests in the city calling for the arresting officer, William Martin, and former Fort Worth Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald to be fired.

The lawsuit accused Martin of using excessive force and alleged Fort Worth policymakers — specifically Fitzgerald, Mayor Betsy Price and the Fort Worth City Council — in general, failed to supervise or discipline officers who used excessive force and failed to try to identify those officers.

Martin had responded to Craig’s call for police assistance in December 2016. Craig had called 911 to report that her son had been choked by a neighbor. That’s when Martin was caught on video questioning Craig’s parenting. 

The lawsuit describes how she and the officer became involved in a heated exchange that ended up with Craig and her 15-year-old daughter being forced to the ground and placed in handcuffs, all while a Taser was pointed at them.

Fitzgerald was fired in May 2019 after serving as police chief for three-and-a-half years. Martin received a 10-day suspension following the incident.

In a statement released Friday from the City of Fort Worth, the city admits to “no fault” as a part of the settlement. 

“The settlement will go before City Council in October for approval,” a spokesperson for the city said. 

This is a developing story, please check back for updates.