The woman who sued the city of Fort Worth after her 2016 arrest by police went viral died Friday of pancreatic cancer, Star-Telegram news partner WFAA reported.
Jacqueline Craig, who settled the lawsuit with the city last year for $150,000, was arrested after she called 911 to report that her son had been attacked by a neighbor, alleging in the suit that the officer who responded used excessive force in the arrest.
In the video of the arrest that went viral, Craig told Fort Worth police Officer William Martin that her son was choked by a neighbor after the neighbor said the boy littered in front of his house.
Before the arrest, Martin is seen arguing with Craig about whether or not the neighbor had a right to touch her son. At one point, he asks in response to Craig’s recounting of what happened why she didn’t teach her son not to litter and then asks her why she thinks the neighbor didn’t have a right to touch her son.
Craig and others began yelling at Martin because of that. The officer then threatened to arrest Craig before throwing Craig and her daughter, Brea Hymond, to the ground. He arrested both of them for allegedly assaulting a police officer, charges that were later dropped after the leaked body camera footage showed that Martin arrested them in response to the women yelling at him.
The lawsuit claimed negligence of city leaders including then-Mayor Betsy Price and then-Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald by failing to supervise and discipline officers who used excessive force, then failing to identify those officers. Fitzgerald was later fired by the city.
Fort Worth settled the lawsuit, without admitting any wrongdoing of the city, in September 2022. Pastor Michael Bell, who acted as an intermediary between Craig and the city, called the settlement a, “satisfactory resolution to a traumatic incident.”
City council member Gyna Bivens said at the time of the settlement that the Fort Worth Police Department had made strides toward improving community police relations.
“Do I think we’re there yet? By no means. I think it’s an ongoing exercise that we as human beings have to always be reminded how to treat people,” she said.
Plans for a memorial service for Craig, 53, are expected to be announced soon.