Questions have been asked in lieu of a video tape (yes another…) which saw McKinney, Texas police officer, Corporal Eric Caseblot harangue African American teens and even pull out a gun on two unarmed children after an incident which saw neighbors raise hell after it was spotted the teens were not welcomed in their turf.
Since video of the ten year veteran cop wrestle a bikini clad teen on the ground, even sitting on her after drawing his gun on teens who came to the girl’s assistance, questions have been raised as to what inspired the officer’s behavior and to what degree ‘institutionalized’ racism played a part in the now suspended officer’s conduct?
According to witnesses, cops were initially called at a community pool, Craig Ranch North Community Pool, when a woman ‘insulted’ black people and told them to go back to ‘public housing.’
Others, including the individual, Brandon Brooks who taped the milieu claimed arriving cops, including Corporal Eric Casebolt acted as if white people were invisible and only targeting black and Mexican pool goers in efforts to restore order.
At no point was Brooks, a 15 year old white teen, ever made to give deference as he set about filming Saturday afternoon’s alarming charade of incidents.
Offered Brooks via BuzzFeed News: ‘Everyone who was getting put on the ground was black, Mexican, Arabic. [The cop] didn’t even look at me. It was kind of like I was invisible.’
As the cop grabbed a young teen woman, pulling her by the hair, the girl’s friends came to rescue, ostensibly beguiled and appalled that the teen had now become the ire of the cop who by now was pulling on the girl’s hair (this counts for police procedure?) and then drawing his gun on two unarmed black teens who had come to avail the teenage girl pleading for help.
It was only after two nearby cops saw Caseblot raise his gun that they intervened, trying to get the officer to cool it. Nevertheless Caseblot would be later seen sitting on the arrested girl after cops set about detaining other witnesses and teens.
According to one of the teens, Emma Stone, 14, said that Saturday’s incident had been predicated as a result of racially-inspired activity which in turn set off fighting at the pool with cops being summonsed.
She said adults who lived in the neighborhood starting telling black children to leave and go back to ‘Section 8 housing‘, implying that they rely on the government to pay their rent.
Stone said this sparked a physical fight, which led to a total of 12 police officers, including Casebolt, being dispatched.
In a statement released Sunday, the McKinney Police Department said: ‘The initial call came in as a disturbance involving multiple juveniles at the location, who do not live in the area or have permission to be there, refusing to leave.
‘McKinney Police received several additional calls related to this incident advising that juveniles were now actively fighting.
‘First responding officers encountered a large crowd that refused to comply with police commands.
‘Nine additional units responded to the scene. Officers were eventually able to gain control of the situation.’
Although several people can be seen being detained in the video, only one 14-year-old boy was formally arrested.
He was charged with interfering with police duties and evading arrest.
It came as local media reported that local residents praised the police, emphasizing how unruly the youths were.
Pool just put up this sign supporting McKinney PD & thanking officers for their response Friday pic.twitter.com/P7bC9hULCF
— Zahid Arab (@ZahidArabFox4) June 7, 2015
— Sam Phillips (@1031ent) June 8, 2015
Photographs also showed that somebody had put up a sign at the pool over the weekend, saying ‘Thank you McKinney PD for keeping us safe’.
In essence raising the question to what degree has past community vitriol and attitudes played a part in the community’s dealings with minorities along with cops attitude and treatment of said ‘trouble makers.’ An attitude possibly reinforced by the gated white community who has come to mistrust the black community.
Casebolt himself has been put on administrative leave, while his department investigates the incident.
Of note the suspended officer was named McKinney’s department’s Officer of the Year in 2008.