Video of of­fi­cer drawing gun on black teens raises ten­sion

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL - BY DAVID WAR­REN

A U. S. po­lice of­fi­cer’s ac­tions raised ten­sions and led to a protest Mon­day in the Dal­las sub­urb of McKin­ney, where some com­mu­nity ac­tivists ac­cused the of­fi­cer of racism while oth­ers urged calm un­til the facts are in­ves­ti­gated.

The of­fi­cer was video­taped pin­ning a black teenager in a swim­suit to the ground at a sub­ur­ban pool party just mo­ments af­ter drawing his hand­gun on other black teens.

Jahi Adisa Bakari, the fa­ther of an­other teenage girl at the party, said he would press for the of­fi­cer to be fired, say­ing he “was out of con­trol.”

But Benet Em­bry, a black lo­cal ra­dio per­son­al­ity who wit­nessed the in­ci­dent, said it was “not an­other Fer­gu­son” or “an­other Bal­ti­more,” re­fer­ring to other po­lice en­coun­ters that have left sus­pects dead and fu­eled a na- tion­wide “Black move­ment.

“This was a teenage party that got out of hand,” Em­bry said.

Po­lice said the youths did not live in the area and did not have per­mis­sion to be at the pool in McKin­ney, an af­flu­ent, pre­dom­i­nantly white city.

Ac­cord­ing to neigh­bors, Em­bry said, a woman who lives in the com­mu­nity re­served the pool for a party. The home­own­ers’ as­so­ci­a­tion lim­its the num­ber of guests each home­owner may have at the pool to two. But about 130 peo­ple, mostly kids, showed up for the woman’s party, he said.

At one point, sev­eral kids be­gan jump­ing over the fence to get into the pool area and were caus­ing a dis­tur­bance, Em­bry said, and a cou­ple of fights broke out.

While he did not agree with the of­fi­cer’s pro­fan­ity or bel­liger­ence, Em­bry said, po­lice were right to re­spond.

Lives

Mat­ter”

“That’s what they are sup­posed to do — pro­tect us,” he said. “I don’t know any other way he could have taken her down or es­tab­lished or­der.”

The of­fi­cer has been placed on ad­min­is­tra­tive leave. In a state­ment, the po­lice depart­ment said the video “raised con­cerns that are be­ing in­ves­ti­gated.”

City spokes­woman Anna Clark iden­ti­fied the of­fi­cer as 41-year-old David Eric Case­bolt, who joined the po­lice force in Au­gust 2005.

Prior to that, he served al­most two years as a state trooper, ac­cord­ing to records from the Texas Com­mis­sion on Law En­force­ment.

Case­bolt took eight hours of cul­tural di­ver­sity train­ing at Collin County Com­mu­nity Col­lege in Fe­bru­ary 2009. He has also taken cour­ses in racial pro­fil­ing and use of force.

As po­lice broke up the crowd, the of­fi­cer pulled the bikini- clad girl to the ground, then used his knees to pin her down. He also pointed his gun at other teens and cursed.

The girl claimed the of­fi­cer told her to walk away but forced her down af­ter “he thought we were say­ing rude stuff to him,” ac­cord­ing to an in­ter­view she gave to tele­vi­sion sta­tion KDFW.

“He grabbed me, twisted my arm on my back and shoved me in the grass and started pulling the back of my braids,” Da­jer­ria Bec­ton, 15, told the sta­tion. “I was telling him to get off me be­cause my back was hurt­ing bad.”

“I un­der­stand how he was feel­ing, every­body sur­round­ing him,” she said. “I don’t think he should have pulled a gun out on 15- year- old kids.”

Bran­don Brooks, the teen who recorded the video, told KDFW that ten­sions rose af­ter a white woman and a black teenager at the party had an al­ter­ca­tion. He said the white woman told the teen “to go back to Sec­tion 8 hous­ing,” a ref­er­ence to fed­eral hous­ing aid given to low-in­come fam­i­lies.

The com­ment holds ex­tra sig­nif­i­cance in McKin­ney, which has been the tar­get of law­suits ac­cus­ing its hous­ing author­ity of racially seg­re­gat­ing Sec­tion 8 hous­ing. One long- run­ning law­suit was set­tled with a con­sent de­cree in 2012 that aimed to open up the pre­dom­i­nantly white west side to sub­si­dized hous­ing.

Brooks said that the of­fi­cer was “out of line” and that he felt com­pelled to keep film­ing when Case­bolt pulled out his gun.

“At that point, my heart did drop and I was scared that some­one was go­ing to get shot and pos­si­bly killed,” he said.

Most peo­ple were re­leased, ex­cept for one man ar­rested for in­ter­fer­ence with the du­ties of a po­lice of­fi­cer and evad­ing ar­rest, po­lice said.

McKin­ney Mayor Brian Lough­miller said city of­fi­cials plan to meet with com­mu­nity lead­ers to dis­cuss the in­ci­dent.

“We re­ally need to come gether as a com­mu­nity,” mayor said.

On Mon­day night, hun­dreds of demon­stra­tors marched from an el­e­men­tary school to the pool in protest of Case­bolt’s ac­tions. Some car­ried signs that in­cluded the phrases, “My skin color is not a crime,” and, “Don’t tread on our kids.” tothe

AP

Hun­dreds march dur­ing a protest Mon­day, June 8, in re­sponse to an in­ci­dent at a com­mu­nity pool in­volv­ing McKin­ney po­lice of­fi­cers in McKin­ney, Texas.

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