‘I thought he was going to shoot the kid’: Teenage pool party incident witness recalls Texas cop abuses
Fallout continues since the McKinney, Texas pool incident video went viral around the world. The video shows local police rounding up teenagers at the gathering. They violently pushed a black bikini-clad girl to the ground and drawing a gun on other black teens on June 5.
Brandon Brooks, 15, who recorded the film, spoke to news
reporters on Monday that he believed racism might have played a
role in trying to explain the police's actions.
“I do feel that is true. I was only one of the white people in the area when when that was happening, and you can tell when he asks people to sit down, he kinda skips over me, and tells all of my African-American friends to go sit down,” Brooks told NewsFix, KDAF-TV, Dallas, TX.
“I thought that was very uncalled for,” Brooks added, recalling the incident when a 15 year-old girl was abused by a police officer who subsequently pushed her onto the ground.
“All she was doing was talking to her friends about the
situation. She was quote unquote ‘running her mouth’ but she has
freedom of speech, and that was very uncalled for, to throw her
to the ground.”
Brooks said it was just kids having a pool party on the last day of school, having fun, while the police officer behaved in a way that was “very scary.”
“When he pulled his gun, my heart dropped as soon as he pulled out his gun as I thought he was going to shoot that kid,” Brooks recalls. "That was very scary."
Parents, activists, and local pastors held a news conference
outside the McKinney Police Department headquarters calling for
the police officer to be fired.
“It is our hope and prayer that the Chief of Police and the mayor of this city handle this situation by not only firing this officer but taking his license, because this was simply based on race,” Rev. Ronald Wright told reporters.
McKinney city spokeswoman Anna Clark told the Associated Press the police officer, identified as David Eric Casebolt, 41, is on administrative leave.
“Several concerns about the conduct of one of the officers on the scene has been raised,” McKinney Police Chief Greg Conley said at press conference on Sunday. “The McKinney Police Department is committed to treating all persons fairly under the law. We’re committed to preserving the peace and safety of our community for all of our citizens.”
Officer Casebolt joined the McKinney police force in August 2005, according to a record from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, AP reports. He earlier served almost two years as a Texas state trooper.
The ACLU of Texas is asking police to release the entire incident report and a 911 call related to a pool party. A statement the group sent Monday says the incident “appears to be a textbook case of overuse of force.”
“In too many cities, there are two kinds of policing and we saw both in this incident: one serving and protecting the white community and one criminalizing and controlling communities of color.”