McKinney police officer on leave after pulling gun on teens at pool party

Pete Schulte is an attorney, a former McKinney police officer and police spokesman talks about the McKinney pool party investigation.
A McKinney police officer is on leave after a video was posted over the weekend showing him throwing a teenage girl to the ground and sitting on her and drawing his gun on other teens at a pool party disturbance.

The incident happened on Friday about 7:15 p.m. at the Craig Ranch North community pool according to McKinney police and has raised questions about racial bias and police overreach.

McKinney police corporal Eric Casebolt is seen on the video taking down 15-year-old Dajerria Becton, an invited guest who says she was not involved in the fight.

"He grabbed me, twisted my arm on my back and shoved me in the grass and started pulling the back of my braids," Becton said. "I was telling him to get off me because my back was hurting bad."

Becton tried to get up, but Casebolt pinned her to the ground holding her down with both knees. She was eventually released to her family, who weren't happy with how the teen was treated.

"It wasn't right, I think his force was excessive," said Becton's aunt.

The teen hopes to see action from McKinney police officials.

"Him getting fired is not enough," Becton said.

The teen who shot the video told FOX4 he was stunned when Casebolt pulled out his weapon.

"At that point my heart did drop and I was scared that someone was going to get shot and possibly killed, so I knew I had to keep on filming because I got really scared when he pulled out his gun," said Brandon Brooks, 15.

Local and national civil rights leaders said Monday they were able to speak with the McKinney police chief and asked for a thorough investigation into the incident.

Rev. Ronald Wright of the Justice Seekers said he's asked the U.S. Justice Department to investigate the officer's actions.

"It is our hope and prayer that the chief police and the mayor of this city will handle this situation," Wright said.

A protest of the officer's actions was scheduled at a McKinney-area school for Monday evening.

The initial call to police was about a disturbance involving several juveniles at the pool who didn't have permission to be there and did not live in the area, according to McKinney police public information officer, Sabrina Boston.

After that, several calls were made regarding the juveniles actively fighting, Boston said.

The first officers to arrive at the pool encountered a large crowd of people who refused to follow police orders. Nine additional McKinney police units were sent to the pool and officers eventually got the situation under control, Boston said.

The host of the pool party spoke out in a video. She said she lives in the subdivision and had invited friends of both races, but that a group of white women started yelling racial slurs at her friends and told them to "go back to their SECTION 8 HOUSING."

Another video clip shows a physical confrontation between the host and several women allegedly before police arrived.

A man who claims to live in the neighborhood 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," Michael Cory Quattrin wrote.

Another neighbor, Benet Embry, doesn't believe race was a factor in what happened. He also posted his account on Facebook.

"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," he wrote.

Maurice Gray, whose daughter attended the party, said claims that the kids were having sex on the playground or smoking weed by the pool are untrue.

Some homeowners near the pool stood up for the police on Sunday.

"They were just doing the right thing when these kids were fleeing and using profanity and threatening security guards," said one woman, who declined to be identified.

A sign at the pool on Sunday thanked McKinney police for their actions on Friday night.

McKinney Police Chief Greg Conley said in a press conference Sunday that he is committed to a complete and thorough investigation. Casebolt is on administrative leave while an investigation is completed.

McKinney's Mayor, Brian Loughmiller, also released a statement on Sunday following Friday's incident.

"Having seen the You Tube Video I am disturbed and concerned by the incident and actions depicted in the video. Our expectation as a City Council is that our police department and other departments will act professionally and with appropriate restraint relative to the situation they are faced with.

Our City Management and Police Chief are investigating the situation as required, and I have faith that they will conclude the investigation expeditiously and take appropriate action. We will continue to monitor the situation through our City Manager's office and will continue to work with community leaders as we follow this investigative process."

The McKinney Fraternal Order of Police also released a statement on Monday.

A woman who answered the phone for the Craig Ranch homeowner's association said it is working with law enforcement, but had no comment for the media.

Two brothers seen sitting in the grass in the viral video have filed complaints with the McKinney Police Department. They were at police headquarters on Monday with their parents.

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