Cop who pulled gun at pool party resigns
A Texas police officer videotaped pulling a gun out at a teen pool party resigned Tuesday in the latest racially charged incident involving alleged excessive force by U.S. law enforcement.
McKinney Police Chief Greg Conley denounced Eric Casebolt’s “indefensible” actions, insisting they did not reflect the department’s “high standard of action.”
Video filmed by one of the teens and later posted on YouTube shows Casebolt — who is white — shouting obscenities at the black teenagers as he orders them to lie on the ground.
At one point, he is seen throwing a bikini-clad girl to the ground and pinning her down. He then pulled out his gun when two young black men approached, apparently trying to help her.
Conley said a dozen officers were sent to the community center Friday amid reports of a “disturbance” at the community pool. A group of uninvited youngsters had shown up at the pool party and then refused to leave, police said.
Authorities launched a probe after becoming aware of the existence of the video, which went viral and was replayed repeatedly on U.S. news broadcasts.
The incident comes at a time of heightened racial tensions in the wake of a series of incidents involving questionable use of sometimes lethal police force in black communities across the United States.
Late Monday, a group of protesters demonstrated at a school and a police station in McKinney, waving signs that read “End Police Brutality” and calling for Conley to lose his job.
Justice Department has launched investigations into possible civil rights violations by police in a number of the cases.
Long-simmering tensions erupted into weeks of sometimes violent protests after the fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri in August.
A grand jury declined to indict the officer who shot Brown and investigators with the U.S. Justice Department later concurred that he acted in self-defense.
The family of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, who was shot dead by police while holding a toy gun in Cleveland in November, is still waiting to hear if prosecutors will charge the officers involved.
A number of other incidents that gained national attention in recent months have led to criminal charges against the officers involved.