MCKINNEY (CBSDFW.COM) – A father’s outrage and a demand for action – those were some of the feelings expressed at an afternoon press conference after video of a McKinney police officer violently restraining a young girl, and drawing his weapon on unarmed teens at a pool party, goes viral.READ MORE: Amber Alert Issued For 12-Year-Old Girl Out Of Converse, Texas
Those at the meeting outside the McKinney Police Department included members of the Next Generation Action Network & Justice Seekers Texas, the NAACP and local pastors. After a meeting with McKinney Police Chief Greg Conley the group held a press conference and made it very clear what action they think the Chief should take concerning Cpl. Eric Casebolt, the officer who put one black teen in handcuffs, drew and pointed his gun at others, and threw a black teenage girl to the ground.
Minister Dominique Alexander said, “First, we ask that Officer Casebolt be fired, [and] second be charged. We ask that the adults that assaulted these minors be charged as well. We ask that the young man who was charged with evading arrest — that his charges be dropped.”
Members of the group said they would be patient and let the police investigation complete it’s course, but made it clear they want justice.
Standing in front of a group, that included both black and white McKinney residents, and speaking on behalf of some clergy in the area, Pastor Derrick Golden said, “I’m glad that everybody is here to get a picture of what McKinney looks like. With all of the statements that have been made prior to me speaking, I have to tell you that we here in McKinney — the people that live here, the people that represent our city — we are definitely going to allow due process to happen, but we are going to do that with our eyes on it.”
Pastor Golden went on to say, “McKinney is on watch. McKinney is here and we believe that we are going to get the right, righteous resolve and that’s what is most important to us.”
Father Jahi Adisa Bakari, a McKinney resident, had a 13-year-old daughter who attended the party at Craig Ranch on Friday night. Bakari said Corporal Casebolt struck his daughter after she and two other teens tried to come to the aid of teenager Dajerria Becton, the girl who was thrown to the ground and held there, with a knee on her back, by the Officer.
“I personally don’t/didn’t condone her running up there, but she saw somebody that was in danger,” Bakari said of his daughter’s actions. “The fact of the matter, this officer recklessly attacked this young lady [Becton] that was following his instructions to leave – that wasn’t acceptable enough for him. So my daughter she came in, he just punched her to the side and she videotaped it.”READ MORE: COVID-19 Pandemic Has Taken A Toll On Mental Health, Led To More Drug Abuse, CDC Says
Bakari said he was disappointed in the City of McKinney Police Department for several reasons, including the fact that they sent no female or African American officers to the scene. “I don’t like grown men touching my girls… daughters,” he said before commenting further about Officer Casebolt. “I’m not indicting the entire police department, because I saw some people doing the right thing. I saw an officer actually trying to keep the matter right. This guy [Casebolt] was just out of control.”
While Bakari said he was proud of his daughter, he also said it was foolish of her to try and rush in to help, because “that police officer was out of control.” Members of the group said they are asking the U.S. Deprtment of Justice to investigate the incident. Bakari said he will be filing criminal charges against Corporal Casebolt.
Monday afternoon, the regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, Roberta Clark, issued a statement that said, in part:
“McKinney Police Chief Greg Conley acted appropriately in swiftly suspending Corporal Eric Casebolt while an investigation of his conduct at a local swimming pool proceeds. The 22-year veteran police officer was seen on a video this weekend throwing an African American teenage girl wearing only a bathing suit to the ground, and at one point unholstering his gun.
Whether or not the facts of the case reveal that the teenagers were invited guests, the community relies on the good judgment of law enforcement officers who respond to complaints. Based upon the evidence currently available, the police officer’s conduct in this incident seems unprofessional and unjustified by the circumstances.”
Corporal Caseblot, who talked with officials and then left town for his own safety, has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation. State records show Casebolt, who has been with McKinney PD for 10 years, has 2200 hours of law enforcement classes, including extensive training in both cultural diversity and use of force. Some sources inside McKinney PD believe Casebolt’s fall and tumble out of his police cruiser when first responding to the pool party incident may have embarrassed the former Officer of the Year and triggered a loss of composure.
The only disciplinary action against Casebolt was for leaving an on-duty training session to bail out a girlfriend arrested in another city for DWI.
As of Monday afternoon, the cell phone video of the incident, posted on YouTube, has been viewed nearly 7,000,000 times. Click here to view the video.
WARNING: The video contains graphic footage and explicit language that may be disturbing to some viewers.MORE NEWS: US To Deport 'Massive' Number Of Haitian Migrants From Texas Border Town
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