The police officer who wrestled and handcuffed a 14-year-old girl during a pool party last Friday has resigned.
Texan officer Eric Casebolt was caught on video forcing 14-year-old Dajeeria Becton to the ground, aiming his weapon and running after teenagers before being restrained by fellow officers.
Casebolt and 11 other officers were called to the Craig Ranch North Community Pool in the affluent suburb of McKinney, north of Dallas in Texas, on a disturbance call.
There were over 100 attendees at the pool party, commemorating the end of the school year; some by invitation and others who had elected to jump the fence.
According to city officials, the initial call was regarding a disturbance involving teenagers who did not have permission to be at the pool and had refused to leave.
Video footage shows Casebolt acting aggressively, with a focus on the African-American teenagers in attendance, as he yelled commands such as “get your arse on the ground!”
Local Texan police chief Greg Conley said officer Eric Casebolt’s actions were “indefensible” and he was “out of control.”
A 10-year-veteran of the McKinney Police Department, Casebolt made the decision to resign after he met with an internal affairs unit about potential charges he could face due to the incident.
He is yet to speak publicly about the event that has renewed questions about racial bias in US law enforcement. Casebolt’s lawyer said his client has gone into hiding after receiving death threats.
Jahda Bakari, the 13-year-old who captured the seven minute video on her phone, said she believes the incident was racially motivated.
“I honestly believe it was race, because mostly they did nothing to the Caucasians at the party,” Ms Bakari said.
“They were acting like we were criminals; we were just there for a pool party.”
Hundreds of protestors in McKinney marched to the pool on Monday evening to condemn the local police for their unnecessary use of force against African-Americans and the institutionalised racism in the police force. – Sasha Godman
Top screenshot from Brandon Brooks’ YouTube clip.