News & Politics

Pool Party Attendee: "I Honestly Believe It Was About Race Because They Did Nothing to the Caucasians"

National Bar Association calls for over-agressive police officer's firing.

Photo Credit: via YouTube

The white Texas cop who was captured on video aggressively handling a black teenage girl in a bikini, then pulling his gun on teens that came to her aid at a pool party Friday night in McKinney, Tex., has been placed on administrative leave, according to BuzzFeed.

AlterNet published a story on the melee Sunday after video of the incident went viral. In the opening minutes of the seven-minute video, several officers from the McKinney Police Department are seen sprinting through the Craig Ranch North community after they were called in to help end a fight in the area. One of the cops, oddly, rolls on the ground, as if he were avoiding bullets in a conflict zone.

One officer is seen using profanity towards the teens and menacing them with what appears to be a flashlight. He also complained about having to run after the kids in the heat with 30 pounds of gear, though no one in the video appears to have given the officer a reason to give any chase at all. The officer is then seen walking towards 15-year-old Dajerria Becton and then violently pulling her down to the ground by the hair. Becton was walking away from the officer at the time and made no contact with him prior to him taking her down. When her friends came to her aid, the cop pulled his weapon out and aimed it at them. The officer is shown sitting on top of Bacton afterwards.

“He grabbed me, twisted my arm on my back, and shoved me in the grass and started pulling the back of my braids,” Becton, told Fox4 Dallas on Sunday night. “I was telling him to get off me because my back was hurting bad.”

Becton was eventually allowed to leave. Though the officer has not been officially identified, several news reports have identified him as Cpl. Eric Casebolt.

One of the party organizers said the fight started after white neighbors directed racial slurs towards the black teens.

Tatiana, a community member who helped to organize the pool party, said in a YouTube video that a white woman at the pool began yelling racial slurs (black fucker, among them) at the teens. Grace Stone, a white 14-year-old girl, stood up for the group, telling the white people who hurled the slurs that their comments were racist. The white woman and another male then berated the girl, according to Tatiana. When Tatiana told them they could not speak to a young girl like that, the white couple then told told her to “go back to [her] Section 8 home.”

Tatiana said a white woman, whom she identified as “Kate”, then slapped her and attacked her with the help of another woman. It is unclear what exactly took place after that. There is video of what appears to be two adult white women attacking a woman, but it is unclear who the women are.

What is clear, however, are the racial overtones. McKinney, a town that is 75 percent white and 10 percent black, underwent scrutiny after the Justice Department criticized its police department, according to the Dallas Morning News. Also, people at the event believe the officers, 12 in total that responded to the call, acted aggressively because of race.

"I honestly believe it was about race because mostly they did nothing to the Caucasians," 13-year-old Jahda Bakari, who was at the party, told CBS News.

The National Bar Association wants Casebolt fired.

"The National Bar Association is demanding a full investigation, and that based on the seven minute YouTube video standing alone is grounds to terminate Officer Casebolt,” according to the statement. “It is insufficient to place him on paid administrative leave, when it is obviously clear that this officer was not enforcing the law, but instead was enforcing his will and power and showing explicit bias towards these African American teenagers.”

On the gates of the community where the incident took place are signs thanking the McKinney Police Department for “keeping us safe.”

Many in McKinney would probably question who, exactly, is being kept safe and who is under attack.







 

 

Terrell Jermaine Starr is a senior editor at AlterNet. Follow him on Twitter @Russian_Starr.

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