McKinney Officer Resigns After Pointing Gun At Teens At Pool Party | KERA News

McKinney Officer Resigns After Pointing Gun At Teens At Pool Party

Jun 9, 2015

Tuesday, 5:30 p.m.:  The McKinney police officer whose video-recorded actions at a North Texas pool party have drawn national attention and comment has resigned from the police force.

Police Chief Greg Conley called Corporal David Eric Casebolt's actions "indefensible."

"He came into the call out of control and, as the video shows, was out of control during the incident. I had 12 officers on the scene and 11 of them performed according to their training,” Conley told reporters during a press conference Tuesday evening. Casebolt resigned Tuesday after almost 10 years on the McKinney police force. He was under investigation at the time of his resignation. 

The video, which went viral, shows him pushing a bikini-clad girl to the ground on Friday and brandishing his gun at other black teens after he and other officers responded to complaints about the pool party at a community-owned swimming pool in the Craig Ranch subdivision.

Conley placed the 41-year-old former Texas state trooper on administrative leave after the incident.

Watch the police press conference:

Original Story: McKinney police say officers responded to a disturbance call at the Craig Ranch North Community Pool around 7:15 p.m. Friday. Someone had complained that several teens who didn’t live in the area didn't have permission to use the pool and refused to leave. Several other callers complained the teens had started fighting.

In a statement, the police department says officers “encountered a large crowd that refused to comply with police commands.” Nine additional officers arrived at the scene.

Video: Watch the confrontation (Warning: Video includes graphic language)

Police Chief Greg Conley said Sunday the officer was placed on administrative leave and an investigation is underway. He says "several concerns" about the officer's conduct were raised.

The video showed the officer grabbing the girl by her arm, then pushing her head on the ground. He then pinned the girl with his knees as she was facedown. He also can be seen pointing his gun at other teens, yelling and cursing.

As of 11:30 p.m. Sunday, the video had been viewed more than 2.5 million times on YouTube.

Conley wouldn’t discuss specifics about the video. One adult male was arrested for interference with the duties of a peace officer and evading arrest, Conley said. 

“The McKinney Police Department is committed to treating all persons fairly under the law,” Conley told reporters Sunday. “We are committed to preserving the peace and safety for all of our citizens. … I am committed to a complete and thorough investigation into this incident. We will be forthcoming in this process. However, I ask that all persons be patient and respect the investigative process.” 

The officer has been identified as David Eric Casebolt. A record from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement shows the 41-year-old officer joined the McKinneypolice force in August 2005. He earlier served almost two years as a Texas state trooper.

Casebolt took eight hours of cultural diversity training at Collin County Community College in February 2009. He has also taken courses in racial profiling and use of force.

'My back was hurting'

The 15-year-old in the bathing suit talked with KDFW-TV (Fox 4) about the incident. "He told me to keep walking and I kept walking. And then I’m guessing he thought we were saying rude stuff to him," she told the station. "He grabbed me, and he like twisted my arm on the back of my back, and he shoved me in the grass, and he started pulling the back of my braids. I was telling him to get off me because my back was hurting really bad."

It wasn't a racial incident, one witness says

A black man who says he saw an apparently white police officer restraining a black, bikini-clad teenage girl the pool party says it wasn't a racial incident.

Benét Embry, who watched the disturbance unfold in McKinney on Friday night, told The Associated Press on Monday that the officer was belligerent and profane, but that police were right to try "to defuse the situation."

He characterized it as "a teenage party that got out of hand."

Embry says about 130 kids, most of them black, turned up for the party. He says some of the partygoers jumped a fence to access the pool, causing a disturbance and sparking fights. He says only seven or eight of them were troublemakers.

Mayor says he's 'disturbed' by incident

McKinney Mayor Brian Loughmiller released a statement Sunday: "I am disturbed and concerned by the incident and actions depicted in the video. Our expectation as a City Council is that our police department and other departments will act professionally and with appropriate restraint relative to the situation they are faced with."

NAACP to meet with McKinney police chief

NAACP officials plan to meet with the McKinney police chief Monday to demand an investigation led by an independent police agency.

“I am deeply disturbed by the McKinney Police Department’s treatment of these African American teenagers," said Cornell William Brooks, the NAACP president. "The excessive force  on an unarmed 14-year-old girl clad only in a bikini by an officer wearing a uniform and a gun, was particularly troubling. The NAACP has reached out to the families of these young people and will be advocating on their behalf at our meeting with the Chief of Police. ...  These teens appeared to be simply attending a pool party and deserved respectful treatment under the law. We are calling for a full investigation of the McKinney Police Department officers and that they be held accountable to the full extent of the law. We also join the community in wrapping our arms around these young people as they heal from the physical and mental scars this incident may have caused."

 

Cornell William Brooks, NAACP President and CEO reacted as he watched the #McKinney video a second time with his sons.

A video posted by NAACP (@naacp) on

Jun 8, 2015 at 8:17am PDT

Race relations in the spotlight

The Dallas Morning News reports that the incident places race relations in the spotlight:

At a news conference Sunday at the McKinney Police Department, about a dozen people expressed frustration that the officers in the video seemed to target only the black youths at the pool party. Many said that it’s another example of racism in the suburb.

“We’re not here to cause a riot or be Baltimore all over again,” McKinney resident La’Shadion Anthony said. “We’re just here to be treated fairly and equally.”

Video: Watch the McKinney police press conference