Thu, Jun 11, 2015 - Page 7 News List

Texas policeman resigns after pool party incident

Reuters, AUSTIN, Texas

A Dallas-area policeman seen in a viral video tossing a bathing suit-clad teenage girl to the ground has resigned from the McKinney Police force, the city’s police chief said on Tuesday.

McKinney Police Corporal Eric Casebolt had been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation of how he appeared to target black youths at the disturbance on Friday in the city about 50km north of Dallas.

“He came into the call out of control and as the video shows was out of control during the incident,” McKinney Police Chief Greg Conley told a news conference.

Casebolt tendered his resignation of his own volition, Conley added.

In the video, Casebolt is seen shouting at black youths in a crowd, shoving an African-American teenage girl, briefly pointing his gun at black youths and throwing the 15-year-old girl in her bathing suit to the ground, putting his knees on her back.

“I had 12 officers on the scene, and 11 of them performed according to their training,” Conley said.

“They did an excellent job,” he added.

The seven-minute video, viewed 9 million times on YouTube as of Tuesday morning, shows officers responding to the incident, which police said started when scores of young people attended a party with a disc jockey at a community pool and refused requests to leave.

Casebolt, a 10-year veteran once named the department’s patrolman of the year, was questioned by authorities on Monday. He has not spoken publicly about the incident.

Last year, McKinney was ranked No. 1 in Money magazine’s annual ranking of the Best Places to Live in America. It had a median household income of US$80,000 in 2012.

For some, Casebolt’s actions in targeting African-Americans, who make up about 10 percent of McKinney’s population, pointed to bias.

Others said he acted properly in helping to break up a party that had gotten out of hand and blame the teenagers for not obeying the police.

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