A Texas city has settled a federal civil rights lawsuit filed by a Black mother who was arrested nearly six years ago after calling police for help during a dispute with a neighbor.
The city of Fort Worth, Texas, agreed to pay Jacqueline Craig $150,000, Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. The settlement will go before City Council in October for approval.
As part of the settlement, the city admits no other fault, and there are no other requirements, a Fort Worth spokesperson wrote in a text cited by the outlet.
In a cellphone video of the incident, the responding officer, William Martin, can be seen talking to the neighbor, who claimed that Craig’s son littered on his property and refused to pick it up, according to the outlet.
Craig told the officer that the neighbor could not prove that it was her son who littered and that even if the child did, it does not give the neighbor the right to choke him.
The situation escalated, and Craig and her then-19-year-old daughter, Brea Hymond, were wrestled to the ground and had a stun gun pointed at them by the officer
Both women were arrested. Craig was charged with resisting arrest and for having outstanding traffic warrants, police said. Hymond was charged with resisting arrest and interfering with public duty.
The mother and daughter’s charges were later dropped after body camera footage was leaked.
The neighbor was convicted of assault. However, after paying a fine and six months of deferred adjudication, he has no conviction on his record.
The officer who arrested Craig and Hymond served a 10-day suspension for violating departmental policies.
Craig sued the city in 2017.
Attorney Lee Merritt told NBC-5 Friday that the fight Craig has put up over the last six years brought positive change to the city of Fort Worth.
“What started off as a very personal thing between Jacqueline and her neighbor and the city she lived in became part of a greater national discussion about addressing qualified immunity and police accountability,” Merritt said.
Gyna Bivens, mayor pro tem of Fort Worth, said that she is glad that the lawsuit has been settled and that all parties have agreed to put the matter behind them.
“This put a big weight on her. It put a big weight on the city, and I hope the settlement is enough for everyone to feel refreshed and ready to move forward,” Bivens told Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
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