2015 Texas pool party incident

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2015 Texas pool party incident
Date June 5, 2015 (2015-06-05)
Venue Craig Ranch
Location McKinney, Texas, United States
Cause A McKinney police officer was video-recorded restraining an unarmed black fifteen-year-old girl on the ground
Outcome Grand jury declined to indict officer involved in incident

The 2015 Texas pool party incident, also known as the "McKinney pool party", was an American civil disturbance that occurred on June 5, 2015, at a pool party in a gated McKinney, Texas, community. A McKinney police officer, corporal Eric Casebolt, was video-recorded restraining Dajerria Becton, a fifteen year old black girl wearing a swimsuit, on the ground. He later drew his handgun during the same incident.[1] The incident was caught on video and was posted on YouTube by another teenage partygoer. Within hours, millions of people had seen the video.[2] The officer shown in the video was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation and later resigned.[3] The incident sparked protests in McKinney involving hundreds of people.[3][4] but a grand jury declined to indict the officer involved.

Incident[edit]

Twelve police officers responded to an incident involving a pool party at Craig Ranch, an upper middle class neighborhood in McKinney. The incident was described by police as a disturbance involving around 100 teens, mostly black, at a private pool party where various teens jumped the fence after a local radio station promoted the party at this private pool over social media.[5] Later, in the street, Casebolt pushed a teenager dressed in a bikini to the ground after the girl was asked to leave multiple times.[5] When two black teenage bystanders attempted to interfere, the officer drew his handgun and held it in a "low ready" position as the teens retreated.[1][6] Casebolt was also heard cursing. The entire event was captured on a cell phone camera by a teenager who lives in the neighborhood.[7]

An 18-year-old partygoer who was arrested at the incident was booked into Collin County Jail on charges of misdemeanor, evading arrest and interfering with police. The charges against him were later dropped. According to a police report, he ran from police for two to three minutes before he was caught. The girl who was restrained by Casebolt on video was not charged.[8][9]

Aftermath[edit]

Casebolt, a McKinney Police Department officer who served in the department for ten years and received the McKinney Patrolman of the Year award for 2008,[10], was placed on administrative leave after the video went viral; he subsequently resigned.[11][12]

According to his lawyer, earlier in the day and prior to being dispatched to the pool incident, the officer had dealt with one uncompleted suicide attempt and another unusually disturbing completed suicide.[6][13] His lawyer noted that the officer was apologetic for his actions but denied that his actions were motivated by race. The lawyer noted that a white woman was also detained during the incident.

The organizer of the pool party has faced difficulty finding venues after the June 5 incident. The venue that was to be the site of the next party in the series received a number of threatening and harassing phone calls.[14]

Legal proceedings[edit]

Collin County prosecutors ordered the Texas Rangers to conduct an independent investigation in the incident.[15] On January 11, 2016, the Texas Rangers concluded their investigation and returned it to the Collin County District Attorney’s Office for further handling.[16] On June 23, 2016, a grand jury declined to indict the officer involved, closing the legal case on the situation.[17]

Civil suit[edit]

On January 4, 2017, it was reported that Dajerria Becton and her legal guardian, Shashona Becton, filed a civil suit against the police corporal Eric Casebolt, the McKinney Police Department and the city of McKinney, seeking damages of five million dollars for using excessive force and holding her without probable cause thus violating her constitutional rights.[18] The case was settled for $184,850 in 2018.[19]

Reaction[edit]

On June 8, about 800 protesters marched through McKinney, demanding the officer involved to be fired.[3][4] They walked from a school to the swimming pool where the incident unfolded. Many of the protesters accused the officers involved of being racially biased. Some demonstrators held signs reading "My skin color is not a crime" and "Don't tread on our kids."[2][20]

McKinney Police Chief Greg Conley said that the officer's actions were "indefensible" and did not reflect on the department's high standard of action. Conley stated that the officer was "out of control" during the incident. The police department also said they had started an investigation.[21][5][22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Cole-Frowe, Carol (June 8, 2015). "Jarring Image of Police's Use of Force at Texas Pool Party". New York Times. Retrieved June 9, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Fisher, Marc (June 8, 2015). "Didn't the McKinney, Texas, police officer know he was being recorded?". Washington Post. Retrieved June 9, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c Stone, Mike (June 9, 2015). "Protesters seek firing of Texas officer who threw girl to ground". Reuters. Retrieved June 9, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "McKinney officer resigns due to video of pulling gun on teens - Fox4News.com". June 9, 2015. Retrieved June 9, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c Reagan Roy. "EXCLUSIVE: Tyler native who witnessed McKinney pool incident defends police". MYEASTTEX. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2016-07-15. 
  6. ^ a b "McKinney police officer apologizes, blames emotional stress". Yahoo! News. June 10, 2015. 
  7. ^ Bellware, Kim. "Cop Placed On Leave After Video Emerges Of Brutal Arrests At Teen Pool Party". Huffington Post. Retrieved June 10, 2015. 
  8. ^ Davis, Todd (June 10, 2015). "Charges Against Teen at McKinney Pool Party". NBCDFW. 
  9. ^ Mervosh, Sarah (June 9, 2015). "McKinney officer resigns". Dallas Morning News. 
  10. ^ "McKinney Police receive awards". McKinney Courier-Gazette. April 19, 2009. 
  11. ^ Southall, Ashley. "McKinney, Tex., Police Officer Resigns Over Incident Caught on Video". New York Times. Retrieved June 10, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Protest rally draws hundreds". Yahoo! News. June 8, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Officer's Lawyer Offers Apology on His Behalf". NBCDFW. June 10, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Future Of "Make It Clap" Parties Uncertain". CBS News - DFW. Archived from the original on 14 June 2015. Retrieved June 12, 2015. 
  15. ^ Prosecutor orders independent investigation in police officer's actions at Texas pool party, Fox News, June 15, 2015.
  16. ^ "Texas Rangers Submit Report About McKinney Pool Party To Prosecutors". CBS DFW. Retrieved January 11, 2016. 
  17. ^ "Grand Jury No Bills Former McKinney Pool Party Cop". Retrieved 2016-06-23. 
  18. ^ Chiquillo, Julieta. "Girl pinned down at McKinney pool party sues ex-cop, city for $5 million". dallasnews.com. The Dallas Morning News, Inc. Retrieved 5 January 2017. 
  19. ^ Uhler, Tom (May 29, 2018). "Settlement reached in viral video case of McKinney police breaking up pool party". Fort Worth Star Telegram. 
  20. ^ "Protest over Texas pool party incident". BBC News. June 9, 2015. 
  21. ^ "Policeman who pulled gun at pool party resigns". Yahoo! News. June 9, 2015. 
  22. ^ "Teen speaks out after recording viral pool party video". fox4kc.com.