Fort Worth Police Assault: Another First Class Racist Beast

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The vile beast wants to show he's the man.

Over the last few days, the viral video of a Texas police officer assaulting and wrongly arresting a Black mother and her daughters after she reported a White neighbor’s alleged assault of her seven-year-old is another reminder that racism in America—and in America’s prejudiced police forces-- is alive and well.

The White officer’s conduct is so offensive even some usual police apologists have offered mild criticisms of him—with some saying they can’t understand why the officer behaved the way he did.

White America can never seem to acknowledge racism, especially in the behavior of their cops. How many times can anyone be "surprised" by something that happens on a regular basis?

Last Thursday, a White police officer from the Fort Worth, Texas Police Department, who has yet to be identified by name, was called to investigate the alleged assault of 46-year-old Jacqueline Craig’s seven-year-old son, by a White neighbor. Instead, on a video that has now been viewed several million times, the White officer ends up assaulting Craig and arrests her and her two teenage daughters, including one who was recording the encounter.

The video is a clear example of America’s accommodating racist paternalistic attitude when it comes to Black people.

According to Craig, the trouble all started when her seven-year-old son was put in a chokehold by a White neighbor. When the mother confronted the neighbor, she says he admitted he did it because the child, allegedly, littered on or near his property. So, it’s alright for a White man to choke a seven-year-old Black child?

Apparently so, by both the actions of the neighbor—and police officer. Perhaps both recall how in New York City Officer Daniel Pantaleo was videotaped choking to death Eric Garner who cried several times that he couldn't breathe. Pantaleo was not indicted, remains on the force, and has reportedly received a raise.

So in Fort Worth last week, after the White officer speaks with the White neighbor he seems to have made up his mind that the assault of this Black child was justified. After Craig tells the officer her side of the story, he said to her "Why don't you teach your son not to litter?"

Here we have a law enforcement officer acting as judge, juror, executioner. He is alright assigning guilt to a seven-year-old boy—without factual proof that this kid littered. Even worse, he is affirming that choking the child was an appropriate response.

What type of vile beast is this? For sure this is the kind of officer with the disposition to one day shoot an innocent Black male dead.

Moreover, what gives him the right to assume he knows what this mother is teaching her children? If the situation was reversed, would he be telling a White mother this?

But this cop wasn’t done showing his utter contempt for this Black family.

"It doesn't matter if he did [litter] or didn't, that doesn't give him the right to put his hands on him," Craig said responding to the officer—who should know that littering is not nearly enough of a reason to assault a child.

The response of this officer is beyond outrageous and chilling. "Why not?" he answers.

This particular episode of White racism by this officer insightfully exposes how many White folk view Blacks. In his mind --and in the minds of many of his kith and kin including the man who allegedly choked the boy-- there is nothing odd in his retort to Craig.

Herein lays the problem. Racism so deep-seated that racism is normal to the culprits.

According to Fort Worth Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald, who is Black, the officer’s behavior wasn’t racist. “What I can say is that I noticed in the video that the officer was rude,” Fitzgerald said. “And there is a difference between rude and racist.”

As if being rude and racist are mutually exclusive.

Here are a few questions for Chief Fitzgerald: if the roles were reversed and it was a White mother accusing a Black man of assaulting her son would this officer have been “rude” to her?

Would that officer have lectured her and had the audacity to tell her “why don't you teach your son not to litter?” Moreover, would he have dared to tell a White mother “why not” when she said an adult male had no right to choke her seven-year-old son—over some alleged incident of littering?

Unfortunately, no one in political power wants to take any responsibility for the rampant racism permeating American institutions including police forces.

Instead, we get ridiculous excuses and spin to justify outrage. And many seem to think if the N-word isn’t being used racism can’t be proven.

Instead of attempting to fulfill the supposed oath of police, “to protect and serve,” this officer ended up adding insult to injury, by unjustly attacking the family of a boy who was allegedly already assaulted by an adult. He then further abused his power by illegally arrested this mother and her two daughters.

The fraudulent charges this officer brought against this family should be dropped—and charges of false arrest should be imposed on him. He should’ve been fired from the moment this video was seen by police brass— that is, if, this police department had any real integrity and fostered high ideals in fair policing. They supposedly have him on “restricted duty.” Why take a chance on this ticking bomb.

During a Friday press conference, Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price said that the recorded assault of Craig and her two daughters was “an isolated incident.” In light of emerging news, the mayor’s statement seems to be more wishful thinking and spin by yet another untrustworthy politician.

In wake of the assault on the Craig family, and the mayor’s “isolated incident” comment, lawyers in Fort Worth on another case released video of 33-year-old David Collie—being shot in the back by Fort Worth Police. Mr. Collie was shot back in July, 28 by a police officer identified only as “Officer Barron.”

The incident left Collie paralyzed.

The new video was released by Collie’s lawyer Nate Washington, who obtained it from the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office. It shows a Forth Worth police officer and an officer from the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office following Collie in an apartment complex, as they were searching for two robbery suspects. “Officer Barron” then shot Collie in the back.

Police claimed they saw something silver in his hands, and that’s why Collie was shot. A box cutter was found 10 feet away from Collie. According to Washington, police shot Collie from 30 feet away. Mr. Collie has been cleared of any wrongdoing—and the case against “Officer Barron” is ongoing.

"Unfortunately, what we've seen from the Fort Worth police officer in that video is not an isolated incident. Many members of our community have been assaulted, handled roughly by Fort Worth police officers," Washington said. "To be clear, we believe the vast majority of police officers are good and decent people."

In a written statement, Washington made an even more salient point about policing.

“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” Washington said. “I know that a culture exists that makes it extremely difficult for good officers to report the misdeeds of bad the ones.”

Indeed, the corruption in cop culture has, especially as it related to institutional racism, been exposed over the last few years. Sadly, many, especially in politics and government, are still pretending that at the most what we have is simply a “bad apples” problem. However, this stance cannot be sustained anymore with each new video release that tells us something quite different.

The brutalization of Jacqueline Craig and her daughters reminded me of Texas Officer Eric Casebolt, who assaulted 15-year-old Dajerria Becton—at a pool party. There was also the vicious video showing South Carolina sheriff’s deputy Ben Fields body slamming a Black female high school student, in class.

What is it going to take to rein in racism and prejudice in America’s police departments? What is it going to take to force politicians to act? What does Black America have to do to finally stop the unchecked brutality and murder we face from police?

With 2017, and a Donald Trump presidency, fast approaching we had better find some answers to these questions quick.

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