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McKINNEY (CBS11) – A teenage girl who was seen on video being slammed onto the ground by a McKinney police officer filed a federal lawsuit in December against the department, the city, and the now former officer, Eric Casebolt.
Lawyers for Dajerria Becton held a news conference in Dallas Wednesday afternoon.
Attorney Kim Cole called the lawsuit a “textbook excessive force claim.”
A grand jury declined to indict Casebolt, but Cole said that shouldn’t matter.
“The officer drew his gun on an unarmed teenager. He slammed this little girl to the ground who wasn’t a threat. There were numerous policies violated so just because they didn’t deem it as a crime, doesn’t mean it’s not actionable,” said Cole.
The pool party video from June, 2015 quickly went viral and made national headlines.
Cole claims it shows the officer violated Becton’s civil rights.
Neighbors called police to the Craig Ranch neighborhood pool because the party was getting rowdy.
Casebolt resigned four days after the incident.
The police chief said at the time Casebolt’s behavior was indefensible.
Since the incident, Cole says her client has received a lot of backlash online, including racist comments.
She says the teen received a threat of assault on Tuesday. “It has completely changed her demeanor. It has changed her personality and it’s horrific. And she has to deal everyday with cyber-bullying.”
For its part, the City of McKinney denied the claims and in a statement said it will vigorously defend itself:
The City of McKinney denies the claims alleged against it and the McKinney Police Department, and as such, will vigorously defend the recently filed lawsuit. McKinney prides itself in cultivating the highest standards of training and professionalism for our officers, and it strongly believes that its standards and training will withstand legal challenge.
CBS 11 called Casebolt’s attorney seeking comment and is still awaiting a response.
Becton’s attorney said five other youngsters may file suit against the city.
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