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Texas police release video of controversial arrest

Analysis of bodycam footage
Texas police release bodycam footage for "transparency" after controversial arrest 05:32

Fort Worth, Texas, police on Tuesday released bodycam video that appears to show officers struggling to put a man under arrest. Police said Tuesday that officers used what are called "distraction strikes" against 35-year-old Forrest Curry while trying to arrest him, CBS News' David Begnaud reports.

Video of the March 31 incident, captured by bystanders, went viral over the weekend. Firefighters said Monday that Curry "appeared to be intoxicated and had attempted to assault them." The video starts with Curry running, and the bodycam footage shows him face down in dirty water.

forrest curry
Forrest Curry Tarrant County, Texas, Sheriff's Office

"For nearly five minutes, it appears [Forrest] Curry is resisting," Begnaud told CBSN. "He is not cooperating with the commands of officers who are telling him to put his hands behind his back."

The footage released Tuesday shows that Curry moaning and saying things that are incoherent as officers attempt to arrest him, Begnaud reports. At one point, there appears to be five men on top of Curry. 

The footage shows Curry allegedly refusing to put his hands behind his back, and then one of the officers appears to hit Curry four times with a closed fist. Another officer appears to use his knee at least twice, Begnaud reports.

Police said they used "distraction strikes," which are approved and taught. Police maintain Curry wasn't injured.

"The body camera video provides insight into the erratic behavior and active resistance presented by Mr. Curry throughout the duration of the arrest process," Fort Worth police said in a statement. "Ultimately, to safely effect his arrest required five officers to negate his flight, active resistance to being handcuffed, and taken into police custody."

Police said they released the bodycam footage Tuesday for the sake of transparency. In a statement, Fort Worth mayor Betsy Price called the release of the footage a "proactive statement."

Fort Worth police release bodycam video of controversial arrest 14:24

But Jasmine Crockett, Curry's lawyer, told CBS News that police released the bodycam footage as a "self-serving tactic." She said that despite him allegedly running from police, that doesn't mean he committed any crime.

Crockett told CBS News on Monday that her client suffered from a seizure before the arrest and didn't know why the officers were on top of him.

"It seems as if he suffered from a seizure and woke up potentially disoriented with what was going on," Crockett said. "I honestly don't believe that he resisted."

Initially a call came to the fire department that two men in an apartment complex were passed out, and the caller thought they might be dead, Begnaud reports. They also received a call that a man was having a seizure, and they alleged Curry attempted to swing at them, leading to the police being called. Then he allegedly ran from police and the police tackled him.

Crockett says before this weekend incident, Curry was on probation for evading arrest. There have been two cases over the last two years which have strained relations between police and the black community in Fort Worth. The chief is asking for patience as he conduct an administrative investigation into the officers' actions.

He was released on bond on Monday.

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