This McKinney, Texas, Police Officer's Response To A Pool Party Is Difficult To Watch & Painfully Familiar — VIDEO
A police officer has been placed on administrative leave after he pulled a gun on two teens and wrestled a young girl to the ground after McKinney police broke up a pool party in Texas. The actions were caught in an upsetting video that shows a large number of black teens being detained after police responded to a "disturbance" at the Craig Ranch North Community Pool, and Reuters reports the incident has raised — yet again — questions about racial bias in policing. At one point during the seven-minute video, the girl can be heard crying as the officer pushes her head into the ground and uses his weight on top of her to hold her down. The McKinney Police Department released a statement on Facebook, stating, "This video has raised concerns that are being investigated by the McKinney Police Department."
There are differing accounts on what exactly happened. According to the police department, officers first responded to reports that a large group of juveniles "who do not live in the area or have permission to be there" were refusing to leave. The police department stated it then received calls that the teens were fighting. Zahid Arab, a reporter with FOX 4 Dallas-Fort Worth, wrote that the pool party had been advertised on social media, though homeowners say the teens weren't allowed to be there. Arab reported that the person who recorded the video, Brandon Brooks, claimed that there had been a fight between a mom and a girl and then the police showed up and "put everyone on ground and in handcuffs." According to BuzzFeed News, some of the teens at the party claimed a fight broke out after adults in the majority white, upper-middle class neighborhood allegedly made racist comments and told the teens, most of whom were black, to leave the area and go back to "Section 8 [public] housing."
Videographer Brooks, who is white, told BuzzFeed, “Everyone who was getting put on the ground was black, Mexican, Arabic. [The cop] didn’t even look at me. It was kind of like I was invisible.”
Whatever happened, when the police showed up, some of the kids ran. The officers responded aggressively, chasing after them and putting them in handcuffs, with one officer yelling at the teens several times, using profanity like "Get your asses down on the ground," and "Don't make me fucking run around here with 30 pounds of goddamn gear on in the sun because you wanna screw around out here."
The video begins with two officers — one of whom trips — sprinting. The one who tripped lost his flashlight, and the boy recording the video and his friend return it to him as the officer is telling a group of kids to not "take off running when the cops get here." Then, a different officer appears on screen dragging a young boy to the ground as the boy says, "Whoa, sir, sir."
The officer runs and handcuffs another teen, while the one above says, "Sir, we just got here, we just came for a birthday party, sir, please."
Groups of people were standing around.
After yelling at some of them to stop "running their mouths," one of the officers followed a girl who was walking away, and then pushed her to the ground. The girl's family told WFAA TV that she is 15, though some outlets have reported that she is 14. Some of the adult male community members took it upon themselves to citizen police.
When two boys responded in outrage over the officer's treatment of the girl, the officer pulled his gun.
The two boys run, and two officers follow them. The girl, who is sitting on the ground, asks repeatedly for someone to call her mom, and he grabs her arm to flip her onto her stomach, again provoking outrage from the crowd.
He screams, "On your face!" as he uses his hand to push her head into the grass. Someone — maybe her — yells, "This is illegal!"
After dragging her a little more, with her yelling that she's already on the ground, and others just standing around watching, he puts his weight onto her body to hold her down as she sobs.
She's handcuffed and left on the ground. The video ends with the officer lecturing the two boys from the beginning about not doing what everyone else is doing and obeying police orders.
The main officer in the video has been identified as Cpl. Eric Casebolt, according to The Dallas Morning News, and he has been placed on administrative leave, the police department said. Bustle was unable to reach him for comment. McKinney Mayor Brian Loughmiller, said during a news conference, "I am disturbed and concerned by the incident and actions depicted in video. ... Our expectation is that as a police department will act professionally & w/ appropriate restraint relative to situation."
The pool, meanwhile, posted a sign thanking the officers for their response and for "keeping us safe."
Images: YouTube/Brandon Brooks (9)