A McKinney, Texas, police officer, Corporal Eric Casebolt, has been placed on leave after video was posted online showing him roughly arresting a teen girl at a community pool party. He is also seen in the video pointing his gun at two unarmed teens who appeared to be trying to intervene in the girl’s arrest.
McKinney Police said on Facebook that the incident happened Friday, June 5, at about 7:15 p.m. The department said officers responded to the Craig Ranch North Community Pool for a “disturbance involving multiple juveniles at the location, who do not live in the area or have permission to be there, refusing to leave.”
Casebolt is seen in the video along with at least two other officers who appear to have been the first on the scene. He first appears while running after a teen, tripping and then doing a barrel roll to recover, while dropping his flashlight.
He then detains a 15-year-old girl, Dajerria Becton, pushing her face first into the ground as she screams. As he wrestles her to the ground, two other teens approach and appear to try to stop him from detaining her. Casebolt then pulls his gun from his holster and points it toward the teens. Two other officers then take off after the teens who ran, and Casebolt re-holsters his gun. He then continues to detain the girl, holding her on the ground.
Police said they received several 911 calls related to the incident, including reports that the “juveniles were now actively fighting.”
The teens were black in a primarily white neighborhood, raising concerns on social media that the 911 calls and the violent arrests of teens in bathing suits were racially motivated.
Police said in the statement, “First responding officers encountered a large crowd that refused to comply with police commands. Nine additional units responded to the scene. Officers were eventually able to gain control of the situation.”
An adult male was arrested on charges of interfering with police and evading arrest.
Dajerria Becton, who was released to her parents without charges, spoke to the local Fox affiliate about the incident:
Brandon Brooks, who posted the video to YouTube, said in the video’s description, “A fight between a mom and a girl broke out and when the cops showed up everyone ran, including the people who didn’t do anything. So the cops just started putting everyone on the ground and in handcuffs for no reason. This kind of force is uncalled for especially on children and innocent bystanders.”
The pool party had been advertised on social media:
Teens who were at the community pool told Buzzfeed News the fight started between adults and teens when the adults made racist comments, including telling the black youths to “return to Section 8 housing.”
The mother and daughter who said they organized the end of the year party that drew the teens to the pool also talked to the local media. They are residents of the community:
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.”
Other videos of the incident were posted to Twitter: