A police call was made on Sunday about nearly 70 unwelcome teenagers at a community pool in Texas, after a fight between a mom and a female teenager broke out.
— Revolution News (@NewsRevo) June 7, 2015
Police Corporal Eric Casebolt was placed on administrative leave after a video surfaced showing him pulling down a 15-year-old girl, identified as Dajerria Becton, to the ground and pinning her down outside a pool party Friday night.
Seconds later, he briefly pulled his gun and pointed it at two teens who appear to come to her aid, according to The Dallas Morning News.
The profanity-laced 7-minute video, posted to Youtube on Saturday, quickly hit over a million views as it showed three officers responding after residents and a private security officer called police to complain that several teenagers did not have permission to use the pool and had refused to leave.
The homeowners association limits pool use to Craig Ranch residents and two guests per household. Several people complained that the teenagers had started fighting.
The department dispatched an additional 9 officers because of the size of the crowd, which was near 100 people, McKinney Police Chief Greg Conley explained.
Toward the beginning of the video, one officer can be heard calmly speaking to several unrestrained teenagers, saying, “Don’t take off running as soon as the cops get here.”
Casebolt can be seen running around, attempting to control the mass crowd by telling the remaining teens who didn’t immediately leave the scene to sit down on the ground and handcuffing several. Most of the males sat down without an issue, some were handcuffed, and one can be heard saying, “Sir, sir. We just came here for a birthday party.”
Later, Casebolt is seen telling a group of girls to “get out of here” numerous times before the girls, who were arguing back and refusing to leave, finally left. Becton was walking the other way and saying something inaudible before Casebolt pushes her to the ground.
He continues to push her into the ground as she resists, and Casebolt can be heard yelling, “On your face,” as he pushes the girl’s face to the ground.
As he leans on the girl, he points to others standing nearby and yells, “Get out of here or you’re going, too.”
Conley said Becton was released to her parents and no teenagers were arrested. One adult, who was not identified, was arrested for interfering in the police investigation. No injuries were reported.
Becton, told KDFW-TV that she followed police orders. “He told me to walk away and I did. Next thing I know I’m on the ground,” she said.
Some say the incident Sunday wasn’t racially motivated.
Benet Embry, a black local radio personality, witnessed the incident and explained how he appreciated the police officers’ speedy response in calming a rowdy situation.
“That’s what they are supposed to do, protect us. I don’t know any other way he could have taken her down or established order.”
Embry said that the teenagers started jumping over the fence into the party and causing a disturbance. He said the teenage girl seen in the video was talking back to Casebolt.
“She’s bringing more stress into an already volatile situation,” Embry said. “Out of a hundred kids, you probably had seven who are acting the fool. They totally spoiled it for everyone else.”
He also posted on Facebook about the events leading up to the police call.
“Look, I LIVE in this community and this ENTIRE incident is NOT racial at all,” Embry wrote. “A few THUGS spoiled a COMMUNITY event by fighting, jumping over fences into a PRIVATE pool, harassing and damaging property. Not EVERYTHING is about RACE. WE have other issues that NEED our attention other flights of made up make believe causes.”
A man who claims to live in the neighborhood, Michael Cory Quattrin, posted his account of what happened on social media.
“A DJ setup in a public space next to the private pool in our neighborhood on Friday and played loud explicit (F-bomb) music for multiple hours (it is unclear if he was invited by a resident as no one has claimed responsibility). The teenagers (both black and white) were being brought into our neighborhood by the carload because the DJ was tweeting out invites to a “pool party” for $15 (obviously unauthorized by our neighborhood). The teens began fighting with each other and pushing their way into our private pool. Some were jumping our fence. The security guard was accosted when he tried to stop the beginnings of this mob scene.”
Another McKinney resident, Bryan Gestner, posted on Facebook,
“This was a Twitter party that turned into a mob event. Jumping pool fence. Assaulting 2 security guards, attacking a mother with three little girls. The video doesn’t show everything.”
He continued, saying the kids were drinking and “smoking weed” and they would not listen to any of the adults around the pool.
Derrick Golden, pastor at The New Covenant Fellowship Church, urged people to not rush to call it racially motivated although Golden, who is black, said that though it seems like the police were targeting black youths.
“I know that he responded too strongly, but I don’t know the whole story,” Golden said.
While some people believe this event was completely racially motivated, others argue that the true issue lies in the disobedience of the younger generation who think they are above the law.
In regards to the aggression showed, some argue that police handle dangerous and unpredictable situations every day so they have to protect themselves and do what they need to do to get the situation under control.