Video emerged Sunday of McKinney, Texas, police officer Eric Casebolt slamming 15-year-old Dajerria Becton to the ground and pinning her there, before pulling his gun on teens who ran over to help her. The police were reportedly called to Craig Ranch—a subdivision of McKinney, which is a part of the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex—following calls from residents and a private security officer about teens using the pool without permission and fighting. Many of the teens were black. Twelve officers in total were sent to the scene. Becton was released to her parents without arrest.
McKinney police chief Greg Conley says Casebolt, who is white, has been placed on administrative leave. “Several concerns about the conduct of one of the officers at the scene have been raised,” Conley told reporters on Sunday. “The McKinney Police Department is committed to treating all persons fairly under the law. We are committed to preserving the peace and safety of our community for all our citizens.”
Activist groups are also concerned about Casebolt’s conduct. In an interview with the Dallas Morning News, Next Generation Action Network founder Dominique Alexander said, no male officer “should ever touch a young girl, half naked, 95 pounds and slam her. That was out of line. He should be fired.” He went on to say that he felt the officer’s handling of the situation was “definitely a racially motivated thing,” and that Casebolt “acted like he was a wild animal, just running around.”
The ACLU of Texas also issued a statement condemning the incident: “A well-trained police department would have responded more cautiously, with less hostility, and using sophisticated crowd control methods that favor de-escalation not escalation. Without question, guns were not needed and in fact risked turning a group of partying teenagers into a violent encounter that could have turned deadly.” It went on to say that, “increasingly in this country we have two kinds of policing and we saw both in this incident: protecting and serving white communities and criminalizing and controlling black communities.”
Tonight’s “March 4 Justice Against Police Brutality” will begin at Comstock Elementary School, located at 7152 Silverado Trail, McKinney, Texas 75070.