The McKinney, Texas cop who sparked international outrage over his unprofessional behavior at a local pool party announced his resignation on Tuesday. Former McKinney Police Corporal Eric Casebolt was placed on administrative leave after videos emerged of the cop berating and manhandling a group of black teenagers. Police Chief Greg Conley called the man's behavior "indefensible".
"Our policies, our training, our practice, do not support his actions. He came into the call out of control, and as the video shows, was out of control during the incident."
During a viral video of the incident in McKinney, Casebolt can be seen swearing at African American teens and even slamming a crying 14-year-old girl on the ground with far greater force than necessary. There was nothing in video footage or in witness statements to explain or justify the former officer's overzealous behavior. Eric's blatant targeting of non-white pool attendants made it clear to many on the internet that it was an ugly case of racial profiling.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas became involved shortly after Casebolt's behavior went viral. "While we don't know all the facts about the party," the ACLU of Texas said in a statement, "[w]hat we do know is that the police response, as seen on the video, appears to be a textbook case of overuse of force."
"A well-trained police department would have responded more cautiously, with less hostility, and using sophisticated crowd control methods that favor de-escalation rather than escalation...especially when it comes to youth and children."
The ACLU has asked that the McKinney Police Department make the incident report and original 911 calls available to the public.
We are fortunate that the aggressive and provoking behaviors exhibited by Casebolt did not lead to yet another situation where an unarmed black teenager was gunned down by police. However, there is one important aspect of this unfortunate situation that has not been addressed: This entire incident would not have happened if the police had not been called in the first place.
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) June 9, 2015
Allegedly, there was racist harassment of non-white pool party attendants even BEFORE police arrived. Witnesses claim that an altercation started after unnamed white women began demanding that the black teens "go back to their Section 8 housing!" After the pool party incident, a sign was put up thanking the officers for protecting the community. It seems pretty clear that the racist attitudes go deeper than one cop who abused his authority.
McKinney Mayor Brian Loughmiller talked about the idea of "coming together as a community". It seems that the very racist segment of McKinney who would applaud the actions of a grown man bodily slamming a young teen and cursing at and threatening others has no intension of heeding Loughmiller's request. Not until this crude and bigoted element of the area is purged will there actually be a community capable of genuine unity.
[Image Credit: Brandon Brooks]