Shortly after the video of Cpl. Eric Casebolt slamming a Black teenage girl to the ground and aiming his gun at other teens at a pool party went viral, the officer has decided to resign as several criminal cases and lawsuits could be filed against him.
The video of Casebolt’s overly aggressive behavior when responding to a disturbance call from a community pool in McKinney, Texas, spread across the web rapidly before news stations all across the country were airing clips of the incident during their daily broadcasts.
The sight of the officer pushing his knee into one teen’s back, threatening to shoot other teens and hurling profanities at the Black pool partygoers sparked protests in the community and added to the national outrage over the severed relationship between police and the Black community.
In the midst of all the backlash, Casebolt, who has been accused of racial profiling in the past, has decided to resign. He will still be receiving pension and benefits.
Police Chief Greg Conley made the announcement on Tuesday while slamming Casebolt’s behavior as “indefensible.”
“As the chief of police, I want to say to our community that the actions of Casebolt as seen on the video of the disturbance at the community pool are indefensible,” Conley told the group of reporters. “Our policies, our training, our practice, do not support his actions. He came into the call, and as the video shows, was out of control during the incident.”
He also insisted that the other officers on the scene did follow their training and doesn’t want Casebolt’s actions to overshadow their efforts.
“I had 12 officers on the scene, and 11 of them performed according to their training,” he added. “They did an excellent job.”
Not all of the officers were captured on camera but it is fair to note that the other two officers seen on the video did not partake in any unusually aggressive tactics and actually moved to stop Casebolt when he pulled out his gun and aimed it at two of the teens.
Based on eyewitness accounts, however, none of the officers seemed to make the effort to really understand what sparked the public disturbance in the first place. While officers swarmed in on the group of Black teens, little attention was paid to the woman that partygoers said started the chaos by yelling racial slurs and derogatory comments at the Black teens.
The Dallas Morning News reported that an older white woman told the partygoers to go back to their “Section 8 homes” and allegedly slapped one of the teens that confronted her about the comments. Other reports suggest that the woman referred to the teen as a “b***h.”
But she was not the target of police aggression and neither were any of the white teens that were attending the same pool party.
“I was like one of the few Caucasian people at the party,” he added. “So I think it might have had something to do with racism.”
Many in the community, on social media and across the country felt the same way, but city officials hope to convince critics otherwise in the future.
Mayor Brian Loughmiller said Casebolt’s actions were “not indicative of McKinney as a whole” and that his behavior “cannot define” the entire community. Of course, signs posted at the pool the next day from residents praising the officers involved didn’t necessarily help sell a positive image of McKinney.
Meanwhile, Casebolt’s resignation won’t put an end to the consequences for his actions. Hundreds took to the streets of McKinney to protest and push for improved accountability within the police department.
The NAACP is calling for a full investigation of the McKinney police department and reports indicate that multiple young pool partygoers could hit Casebolt with hefty lawsuits.