McKinney Police Officer Resigns In Wake of Pool Video
MCKINNEY (ABC News) -- The police officer who was videotaped slamming a teen girl to the ground and raising his gun towards others during a fight at a Texas pool has resigned, sources tell ABC News.
Cpl. Eric Casebolt's resignation comes a day after hundreds of protesters marched near the pool in McKinney where the incident took place last weekend.
The release of the video prompted national outcry after there were allegations that race played a factor in the way that the white officer treated the African-American teens.
But the McKinney Fraternal Order of Police vehemently denied that the incident was racially motivated.
"The McKinney FOP assures that this was not a racially motivated incident and can say without a shadow of doubt that all members of the McKinney FOP and McKinney PD do not conduct racially biased policing," lodge president Daniel Malenfant said in a statement.
The 41-year-old officer was put on administrative leave this past weekend. By DAVID WARREN Associated Press
McKINNEY, Texas (AP) - A suburban Dallas police officer has been placed on administrative leave after a video was posted online showing him pushing a 14-year-old girl in a swimsuit to the ground and pointing his gun at other teens.
McKinney Police Chief Greg Conley said at a news conference Sunday that the incident began when officers responded Friday night to a report of a disturbance involving a group of black youths at a neighborhood pool party.
The police department said the youths do not live in the area and did not have permission to be at the pool.
When officers arrived, residents and private security pointed out the juveniles who were "creating the disturbance, fighting and refusing to leave," Conley said.
As officers dispersed the crowd, the 14-year-old girl was "temporarily detained" by an officer, said Conley, who did not describe what led to her detainment.
The video shows the apparently white officer pulling the bikini-clad black girl to the ground then seemingly using his knees to pin her down. He can also be seen pointing his gun at other teens and cursing.
Conley did not identify the police officer or the girl seen in the video, or comment on the officer's race or that of the young people involved. McKinney is an affluent, predominantly white city. Most of the kids seen in the video are black.
Confrontations involving white law enforcement and black suspects have raised concerns across the U.S., in particular since last August, when a white police officer fatally shot a black 18-year-old in Ferguson, Missouri. Michael Brown's death fueled sometimes-violent protests and a nationwide "Black Lives Matter" movement.
Some witnesses told The Dallas Morning News that the police targeted black kids at the pool party in McKinney, 35 miles northeast of Dallas.
"We're not here to cause a riot or be Baltimore all over again," McKinney resident La'Shadion Anthony said. "We're just here to be treated fairly and equally."
But Benét Embry, a local radio personality who is black, said the police officer's action was not about race.
"This is not another Ferguson. This is not another Baltimore. This was a teenage party that got out of hand," said Embry, who lives in the neighborhood and said he witnessed the disturbance and police action.
Embry told The Associated Press that, according to neighbors, a woman who lives in the community reserved the pool for a party. Embry said that homeowners' association rules limit the number of guests each homeowner may have at the pool to only two. But about 130 people, mostly kids, showed up for the woman's party, he said.
At one point, several kids began jumping over the fence to get into the pool area and were causing a disturbance, Embry said, and a couple of fights broke out.
Embry said the situation was getting out of hand and that the police were right to respond.
"That's what they are supposed to do: protect us," Embry said. "I don't know any other way he could have taken her down or established order."
While he did not agree with the officer's profanity or belligerence, Embry said, "He was trying to defuse the situation."
Two white female neighbors, who did not want to be named, said they too did not think it was a racial incident and noted that while McKinney is predominantly white, their neighborhood is diverse, with black, Asian and Indian families living in the planned community.
The police statement said the video "has raised concerns that are being investigated" by the department. The officer is on leave pending the outcome, said Conley, who said he did not have information about how long the officer has been with the force.
One man was arrested for interference with the duties of a peace officer and evading arrest, Conley said. Everyone else was released.
McKinney Mayor Brian Loughmiller said in a written statement that he was "disturbed and concerned by the incident and actions depicted in the video." He called for the city and police to quickly investigate.
The mayor says city leaders "take this matter very seriously."
McKinney Mayor Loughmiller made the comments to about 40 people who gathered for a previously scheduled city council meeting. Loughmiller said, "We really need to come together as a community."
Nikki Perez, a black resident who attended the meeting but not the pool party, alleged police seemed to be targeting black teenagers over white ones. She criticized the officer for using profanity and drawing his gun at one point.
Authorities haven't named the officer, who was placed on administrative leave.
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