Cpl. Eric Casebolt, the McKinney, Texas, police officer seen on a video forcing a teenage girl to the ground and briefly drawing his gun while attempting to break up a disturbance at a community pool, has resigned. Police Chief Greg Conley made the announcement at a press conference Tuesday evening.
“As the chief of police, I want to say to our community that the actions of Casebolt as seen on the video of the disturbance at the community pool are indefensible,” Conley said. “Our policies, our training, our practice, do not support his actions. He came into the call, and as the video shows, was out of control during the incident. I had 12 officers on the scene, and 11 of them performed according to their training. They did an excellent job.”
The incident occurred last Friday. It started out as a pool party in a McKinney subdivision. Police were called after a fight broke out. The Dallas Morning News reports that racist comments sparked the altercation, when a white woman yelled slurs at the partygoers and said they needed to go back to their “Section 8 homes.” One of the partygoers said that woman also slapped her.
One of the white partygoers, Brandon Brooks, 15, said police officers left white people at the party alone and singled out the black attendees, “just putting random black kids on the ground,” as he told Fox 4 TV News. “I was like one of the few Caucasian people at the party,” he says, “so I think it might have had something to do with racism.”
A seven-minute video of the ordeal was posted to YouTube Saturday and quickly sparked outrage. Hundreds marched through the streets of McKinney, a suburb north of Dallas, on Monday night as well. Casebolt was placed on administrative leave Sunday.
“Our citizens called us to a fight in progress and general disturbance at the community pool,” the police chief said during Tuesday’s press conference. “We responded. I do not condone the actions of those individuals who violated the rules of the community [and] showed disrespect to the security person on scene and to the officers who responded. However, we as a department are held to a high standard of action as we do our jobs.”
Conley says the police department will continue its investigation into the incident. McKinney Mayor Brian Loughmiller said at Tuesday’s press conference, “We are going about this investigation in a proper way, in a quick way, and most of all, to make sure that we have a peaceful response to the actions that took place.”