Cop caught on tape resigns ... after video of him drawing gun on black teens sparks protests
McKINNEY, Texas (AP):
The COP whose video-recorded actions at a North Texas pool party have drawn national attention and comment has resigned from the police force.
Officer David Eric Casebolt resigned yesterday from the McKinney Police Department after almost 10 years in the force. His resignation was confirmed by his attorney, Jane Bishkin of Dallas.
Hundreds of demonstrators marched Monday night to the pool where the white police officer pinned a black teenage girl to the ground and pulled a gun on others over the weekend. The protesters carried signs that included phrases such as "My skin color is not a crime".
Some community activists in McKinney, an affluent, predominantly white Dallas suburb, have accused 41-year-old Casebolt of racism in the incident that quickly drew national attention. Others urged calm until the facts are investigated.
According to neighbours, a woman who lives in the community reserved the pool for a party, said Benet Embry, a black local radio personality who witnessed last Friday's incident. About 130 people, mostly kids, showed up. At one point, several kids began jumping over the fence to get in and were causing a disturbance, Embry said, and a couple of fights broke out.
"This was a teenage party that got out of hand," Embry said. Police said some of the young people did not live in the area and did not have permission to be at the pool.
'CALL MY MOMMA'
In the video captured by a teenager, the girl in a bikini repeatedly cries out, "Call my momma!" as Casebolt pins her to the ground, only moments after drawing his handgun on other black teens.
"On your face!" he yelled at the girl, amid screaming from a crowd of onlookers.
Casebolt had been placed on administrative leave. In a statement, the police department said the video "raised concerns that are being investigated".
The girl said Casebolt 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, said. "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 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.
Brooks said 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.