Here’s what happened: A woman named Jacqueline Craig in Fort Worth, Texas, called the police after a neighbor allegedly choked her 7-year-old son for throwing a piece of paper and not picking it up. A cop turned up but instead of questioning the neighbor, he started grilling the woman over her parenting choices. As Craig — quite understandably — grew frustrated, the officer pinned her down, threatened to Taser her and her daughter and arrested them.
To completely understand the unusual arrest, here’s all you need to know: The neighbor is white and so is the cop. Craig is black.
The five-minute video of the incident, posted on Facebook by user Porsha Craver, sparked intense debate over police brutality or, to be precise, racially charged police violence.
Yet, Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald believes the arrest was not racist — it was rude.
“What I can say is that I noticed in the video that the officer was rude,” he said during a press conference. “And there is a difference between rude and racist.”
Technically, Fitzgerald is right. The officer was rude and, yes, there is a huge difference between “rude” and “racist.”
But the cop wasn’t just rude to Craig. He actually suggested to the distressed mother that the neighbor had the right to choke her 7-year-old son for not picking up litter.
Now, imagine a cop telling a white mother that a black man has the right to choke her 7-year-old son for not picking up litter — and then arresting her for getting frustrated.
It’s hard to even imagine it, isn’t it?
That’s exactly where race comes into play in the Fort Worth arrest.
Also, this isn’t the first incident in the country in which the cop appeared biased toward a black complainant. In September, a 17-year-old black male was allegedly arrested by the police for reporting his stolen car.
In fact, in a separate October instance, a cop arrested a black man for walking in the street.