Texas Pool Party Incident: Officer Who Pushed Girl To The Ground Resigns
Eric Casebolt, the officer accused for pushing a girl dressed in a bikini to the ground and kneeling on her back, resigned from the force on Tuesday.
Casebolt, who served as a corporal for the Police Department in McKinney, Texas, could be seen in the YouTube video that shows the police responding to reports of fighting at a pool party. Casebolt swore at the African-American teenagers and pushed Dajerria Becton onto the ground.
The incident in the Dallas suburb gave rise to a wave of protests; people could be seen marching on Tuesday, while parents called for the officer to be fired from the force.
On Tuesday, the city’s police chief at a press conference said Casebolt’s actions were “indefensible.”
According to CNN, Police Chief Greg Conley said, “Our policies, our training, our practice, do not support his actions. He came into the call out of control, and as the video shows, was out of control during the incident.”
With the matter being looked into by the police, officials had said that Casebolt was on administrative leave during the investigation. Although his resignation has closed the chapter on the internal affairs investigation, Conley said that it is too soon to determine whether Casebolt will face any charges for the allegations he’s facing.
Conley said, “We’re continuing an investigation. We are continuing looking into all the allegations that are being presented to us, and any part of a criminal investigation regarding anyone will take a matter of time for us to work through all those allegations and those people who have come forward to us to complain.”
The video in question shows Casebolt cursing at several African-American individuals, pointing his gun and pulling the girl by her arm before forcing her onto the ground with his knees to her back.
Struggling with the force being used on her, the girl screams, “Call my momma!”
Becton told KDFW, “Him getting fired isn’t enough.” She said that she followed the corporal’s instructions to leave when he got a hold of her.
She said, “He told me to keep walking. And I kept walking and then I’m guessing he thought we were saying rude stuff to him.
“He grabbed me, twisted my arm on my back and shoved me in the grass and started pulling the back of my braids I was telling him to get off me because my back was hurting bad.”
McKinney police posted a statement on Facebook, saying they were called to the scene because several people who weren’t invited to the party were refusing to leave the pool. This ensued in a fight, with calls being made to the police.
Lawyer Jane Bishkin, representing law-enforcement personnel in the Dallas area including the Dallas County Peace Officer’s Association, said that Casebolt’s decision to resign followed a meeting with the department’s internal affairs unit to assess the possible charges he could face in light of the incident.
In a statement, the Craig Ranch Community Association said, “Right now, there are more questions than answers. This is a peaceful, increasingly diverse neighborhood that is growing and thriving because of our differences in background, race, reasons for moving here and in many other ways. At this moment, we are asking our neighbors to take a deep breath and share a moment of solidarity that is supportive of our neighborhood, our city, and our future.”
Casebolt is also facing reproach from parents and protestors for shouting curses and subsequently pointing his weapon at the teenagers.
Jahi Adisa Bakari, whose daughter shot a second video during the incident, said, “The fact of the matter is the officer recklessly attacks this young lady, who was following his instructions.”
Bakari further said that her daughter “risked her own life” when she tried to help Becton but was pushed away. “He could have easily turned around and shot. … She could have been dead,” he said.
The protests come after numerous reports of African-American individuals dying in police incidents have made headlines since July 2014 – Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, Eric Garner in New York, Freddie Gray in Baltimore and Tamir Rice in Cleveland, Ohio.
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Tags:African American dying in police incidentsCasebolt cursing African Americancorporal for Police DepartmentDajerria BectonEric Caseboltfighting at pool partypushing girl in bikini to groundTexas pool party incidentviral YouTube video