Controversy continues to rage after a video emerged of a white police officer pinning a black teenager to the ground at a Texas pool party.
The video was filmed by a white teenager named Brandon Brooks, who continued filming as the police officer pulled the teenage girl to the ground by her hair, before kneeling on her back to keep her on the floor as he pointed his gun at other members of the majority black group, according to the BBC.
Texas pool party turns violent
The incident occurred in McKinney, Texas after tempers flared at a pool party. The pool is situated in a private housing complex known as Craig Ranch, and witnesses say that a number of uninvited people arrived at the party and then refused to leave the area when asked to do so. Police were called to the scene, and a fight later broke out, resulting in further calls to police.
A girl, since identified as the host of the Texas pool party, claimed that the situation turned violent when a white resident started shouting racial slurs at black guests. Tatiana Rhodes, 19, was at the Craig Ranch North Community Pool when the white neighbor came over. “This lady was saying racial slurs to some friends that came to the cookout. She was saying such things as ‘black effer’ and ‘that’s why you live in Section 8 homes,’” Rhodes said.
She alleges that another neighbor told her and her friends to “go back to your Section 8 home,” in reference to federal housing assistance for low-income families.
Police officer criticized for violent response
The main point of controversy is the handling of the Texas pool party incident by McKinney police. Police officer Corporal David Eric Casebolt is seen on video swearing at a group of black teenagers, waving his gun at them and pinning the bikini-clad girl to the ground. Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of McKinney to call for his dismissal, although at this point he has been placed on leave.
The girl in the video has been identified as Dajerria Becton, and she claimed: “Him getting fired isn’t enough.” Civil rights leaders also told the press that they want to see an investigation by the U.S. Justice Department.
Protesters carried signs reading “My skin color is not a crime,” and “Don’t tread on our kids.” Different narratives have emerged as to whether the incident was racially motivated or not.
Racially motivated incident?
Brooks, the white teenager who shot the video, claims that the police officer was targeting black teens at the Texas pool party. “I was one of the only white people in the area when that was happening,” he told KDAF. “You can see in part of the video where he tells us to sit down, and he kinda like skips over me and tells all my African-American friends to go sit down.”
He went on to say that the fight which preceded the arrival of the police did not involve the youths that can be seen in his video. “It was a fight between a mom and girl, which had nothing to do with all the other kids,” he told KDAF.
However Benet Embry, a black resident of Craig Ranch, claimed that the incident was not racially motivated. He said that a crowd of teenagers violated community rules on the use of the pool, and refused to leave the area when asked to do so by a security guard.
“Let me reiterate, the neighbors or the neighborhood did not call the police because this was an African-American party or whatever the situation is,” he said. “This was not a racially motivated event — at all. This whole thing is being blown completely out of proportion.”