Who Is Eric Casebolt, The Officer In The Texas Pool Party Video Who Was Put On Administrative Leave?
Officials in McKinney, Texas, put a white police officer on administrative leave Sunday after startling video of a black female teenager's arrest at a pool party surfaced online. In the video, officers appeared to target only black teenagers while leaving others alone, and one officer's aggressive actions has particularly come under fire. Citing sources, Fox 4 confirmed the identity of the officer — so who is Eric Casebolt?
In the video, Casebolt is seen aggressively shoving a bikini-clad teenage girl, aged 14 or 15, to the ground and pulling her hair. Another moment shows Casebolt appearing to pull his gun on two black male teenagers. His arrest of the girl, along with his profanity-ridden interactions with other teens in the video, is currently under investigation. McKinney Police Chief Greg Conley said in a Sunday news conference the department was committed to conducting a thorough and fair review of the incident.
As the video went viral, online records of Casebolt quickly began to disappear. Casebolt's now defunct LinkedIn profile said the officer worked with McKinney Police Department since August 2005. His duties included "neighborhood patrol, community policing, and crime prevention." He was named Officer of the Year in 2008, according to The McKinney Courier-Gazette. A Navy veteran, Casebolt also worked as a Texas Highway Patrol trooper from 2003 to 2005. The New York Daily News reported Casebolt was vice president of the McKinney Police Association, citing the union's Facebook page.
Thanks to the power of Internet archive Wayback Machine, we can take a look at his staff bio for Executive Self-Defense and Fitness Training, which reveals a heavy martial arts background. The bio, which has since been erased from the martial arts facility's website, said Casebolt worked as an instructor trainee who has "in-depth training" in impact weapon deployment, ground fighting, handcuffing, joint locks, and pressure point compliance. Casebolt also has "working knowledge" of human behavior, indicators of deception, criminal behavior, and experience in the use of all levels of force. His bio said Casebolt now exclusively trains in Krav Maga (a self-defense combat style developed by the Israeli military), Filipino martial arts Arnis, and ground fighting.
Given his experience in policing, and in light of ongoing national outrage against police brutality and racial bias, Casebolt should have displayed more restraint in the incident. In fact, other officers in the video appeared to be alarmed at Casebolt's outbursts. Bustle's requests for comment from McKinney police were not returned Sunday evening.
Image: Brandon Brooks/YouTube