What was supposed to be a carefree pool party for a Texas teens’ birthday took a horrendous turn on Friday when officers reminded the young crowd of Black teens that there is no age limit on racial discrimination.
A video of police officers aggressively handing a group of teens at a pool party hit the web over the weekend and resulted in one of the officers, being suspended after he pulled a gun on some of the teens.
It was a chaotic scene and one that may be difficult for some to watch.
The teens had gathered for a pool party and, according to eyewitnesses, had every right to be at the Craig Ranch North Community Pool in McKinney that day.
But once a verbal altercation broke out with an older woman who was allegedly hurling racially charged insults at the teens, the police were called and the group of Black party-goers was targeted.
Miles Jai Thomas was one of the teens at the pool party when madness erupted, according to the Huffington Post.
Several police officers arrived on the scene and immediately approached the teens in an aggressive manner. The officers acted so quickly that they didn’t even appear to be aware that an older woman at the pool was allegedly the one who punched one of the Black teens in the face and ultimately triggered a call to authorities.
But those details didn’t matter as Thomas says officers started “making up rules” to get the teens off the property without gathering any information about what happened.
He said the cops were “cursing and yelling” at the group and the video even captured one officer roughly handling a young girl. While still in a bathing suit, the girl is shoved to the ground before the officer grabs a hold of her head and pushes her face down into the grass.
“So a cop grabbed her arm and flipped her to the ground after she and him were arguing about him cursing at us,” Thomas explained to the Huffington Post.
Two other teens, seeing the girl being manhandled, rushed up to her in hopes to offer aid but that’s when the officer made one move that would solidify his suspension and even cause his colleagues to question his tactics.
He pulled his gun on the two teens. The stepped back quickly, allowing the officer to continue his rampage. Two other officers rushed over to him and urged him to put his gun away.
“I was scared because all I could think was ‘Don’t shoot me,’ “ Thomas added.
Once the McKinney police chief caught sight of the video, he confirmed that the officer would be suspended although that officer’s identity has not been shared with the public.
Reports have surfaced, however, identifying the cop as Corporal Eric Casebolt. That has not been confirmed by the department but images of a still-shot from the video have been compared to images of Casebolt wearing a Native American costume at a holiday party in the past and it seems as if both images are the same man.
“Several concerns about the conduct of one of the officers at the scene have been raised,” McKinney Police Chief Greg Conley said, according to ABC affiliate WFAA8. “The McKinney police department is committed to preserving the peace and safety of our community for all our citizens.”
He added that the young girl in the video was “temporarily detained by one of the officers” but was eventually released to her parents. The 15-year-old girl, identified as Dajerria Becton, told KFDW Fox 5 News that she was not involved in the fight.
But Thomas said far more than one person was handcuffed during the incident. He estimated that about 20 people were placed in handcuffs during the incident.
All throughout the video teens can be heard pleading with the officers, but all their requests for a peaceful resolution were blatantly ignored.
Instead, he returned their pleas with insults laced with coded language.
“Don’t make me run round here with 30 kinds of f****g gear on in the sun because you want to screw around out here,” he charged.
“You just did what everybody else did, and what everybody else did was illegal,” he added. “You did it and you got caught. Now you’re sitting here paying for it.”
It’s still unclear what the officer believes the teens got “caught” doing.
Again, multiple eyewitnesses insisted that the teens had the right to be at the pool for the birthday party.
In addition to showing the ugliness of racial bias—the officers seemed to immediately assume the Black teens were the criminals and instigators of the incident—the incident also serves as a reminder of the problem with the “good cop” theory.
Teens told reporters that two of the officers were kind and even reacted positively when the teens handed over a flashlight that one of them had dropped.
But their own reluctance to manhandle the teens the way their colleague did still wasn’t enough to earn them the “good cop” label that so many willfully hand over to the police.
The officers were not proactive in stopping their colleague’s rampage and aggressive treatment of the teenage crowd. They only stepped in when it seemed as if he was going to fire his gun at two of the teens—a move that could have possibly cost him his job and make him the latest officer to get a taste of the other side of the judicial process.