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In a statement issued by the Fort Worth Police Department (FWPD) regarding a brief video showing an FWPD officer striking a 35-year-old man, Chief Joel Fitzgerald said the video doesn’t show the entirety of what happened.
A passerby recorded the snippet of an FWPD officer striking 35-year-old Forrest Curry and posted the video on social media.
So what happened?
According to the statement and KTVT, The FWPD was called to the scene after Curry was intoxicated and attempted to fight with members of the Fort Worth Fire Department (FWFD), while they were in the middle of handling a call for service.
“The video being circulated depicts officers struggling with the male and striking him as they attempt to handcuff him,” Chief Fitzgerald explained. “What the video does not depict is that it took three officers and one supervisor to effectively place the resisting subject into handcuffs.”
The firefighters requested the police to “respond rapidly due to the subject’s violent actions toward them,” according to the FWPD press release.
He resisted arrest aggressively, prompting additional units to respond, according to the police.
“Why are you punching me?” Curry yells in the video.
According to the New York Daily News report, Curry’s lawyers, L. Chris Stewart and Jasmine Crockett, claimed that Forrest Curry had experienced a seizure just before police arrived and he had no idea officers were on top of him.
Stewart and Crockett said in a written statement, “We are focusing on getting the victim of this police violence out of custody and ensuring that he receives the necessary medical attention for injuries suffered during the heavy-handed arrest by officers with the Fort Worth Police Department,”
“Unfortunately, it seems the Fort Worth Police Department has a culture of violating the rights of people of color.”
“You would think an African American chief, out of all people, would have some understanding this type of situation,” she told the New York Daily News.
Police actions applauded but in question
According to KTVTNext Generation Action Network president Dominque Alexander “applauded” the police chief for opening an internal investigation into the incident, but said he believed the officers did in fact overreact.
“I still wanna know why the officer felt like he needed to use that level of aggression on him, striking him continuously,” Alexander said.
Police are legally allowed to hit people who actively resist arrest.
Curry has been arrested for resisting arrest, evading arrest, and public intoxication, the New York Daily News reported.
Read the full statement: