In an attempt to expose the racist conduct of one of their colleagues, two African American Dallas Fort Worth police officers are being disciplined NBC reports.
Deputy Chief Vance Keys (r.) and Assistant Chief Abdul Pridgen were demoted for leaking body camera footage of a controversial arrest in Dallas-Fort Worth, Tex., earlier this year. Both officers were demoted to sergeant due to their alleged roles in the leak. Keyes also faces a three-day suspension. It appears that both men apparently left a digital trail that implicates them in the leak.
The files were discovered to have been downloaded from Pridgen’s computer and Keyes was allegedly present at the time. However, both Pridgen and Keyes have denied being the source of the leaks. Interestingly enough, Dallas Fort Worth Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald made a comment that demoting Pridgen and Keyes was one of the “most difficult decisions” he ever had to make. The chief said Pridgen and Keyes were “two men I trusted, called colleagues and called friends.”Sadly, he should have commented on his disappointment in the actions of Officer William Martin. However, it is widely known that police officers protect their own even when it is unjust.
Texas mother, Jacqueline Craig, phoned officers for assistance after her Caucasian neighbor assaulted her son after accusing him of littering. Officer William Martin arrived to the scene and instead of being objective, Martin seemed to side with the neighbor. Martin questioned why Craig didn’t teach her son not to litter and suggested the neighbor had the right to assault her son.
Despite the fact that Craig called for help, she began to argue with Martin and the argument grew worse. Things escalated and Craig along with her 15-year-old daughter were asked to get on the ground and they were handcuffed. Craig’s older daughter, who was also arrested, recorded the entire incident on her cell phone. Weeks after the footage went viral, the body cam video was released. Now, weeks after the cell phone video went viral, footage of the same incident from Martin’s body camera was leaked.
Craig and her daughters expected fair treatment instead they were treated as if they were criminals. Sadly, the only punishment that Martin received is that he was suspended for 10 days probably with pay. Craig and her family are disappointed with the way Chief Fitzgerald handled the case and they believe that he should be fired as well as Martin. In their opinion, the body cam footage should have been made public. After all, the purpose of the body cam is to be completely transparent about police and citizen relations. To them, the whole case is another example of an injustice. Dr. Martin Luther King once said an “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”. Not just the Craig family, but we all should be outraged.