Southwest States Violent Crime

Fort Worth Police Struggle to Subdue Combative Suspect Caught on Camera

Fort Worth police are asking for patience and calm as they investigate an incident that was captured on video Saturday on the city’s east side.

The video, taken by an apparent onlooker and shared by Next Generation Action Network, shows a man being held to the ground and punched by Fort Worth police. “Stop punching me,” the man is heard yelling multiple times.

It all happened near Handley Drive and East Loop 820. Police say firefighters had reported an intoxicated and combative person. When police arrived, they say the person fled. Police say the video shows officers struggling with and striking the suspect as they try to handcuff him. What the video doesn’t show, police say, is that it took three officers and one supervisor to handcuff him in a struggle that lasted nearly five minutes.

“When we see these videos and we see these young African American people go through this, we wonder—what’s going on?” said Minister KL Johnson Sunday.

Johnson calls what he saw in the video “inhumane” and “disgusting.” He already wrote a letter to Mayor Betsy Price saying so. He’s now questioning the effectiveness of the city’s task force on race and culture.

“We’ve had the same issues, disregard for human life, when it came down to Craigory Adams, we had the same disrespect or lack of respect for Jacqueline Craig,” he said, referring to cases in the recent past that were caught on video.

The person in the video has not been officially identified yet, but Johnson says he met with him Easter morning in jail.

Chief Joel Fitzgerald says he cannot release full details about the incident right now but says the department is actively investigating.

Cory Session, who is a member of Fort Worth’s race and culture task force, said he cautions people to wait until all the video evidence comes out. But he says the video gave him a feeling of disgust, and he’ll be discussing it Monday with one of the department’s assistant chiefs.

The Next Generation Action Network says it has spoken to Chief Fitzgerald, and they released a statement Sunday night, including this: “NGAN finds the video very problematic and at this point, we have more questions than answers. We are thankful to the civilian who bravely filmed the incident, without his courage we may never have known what occurred.”

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