The teenage girl who organized an end-of-school-year pool party in McKinney, Texas, that ended in alleged acts of police brutality, including an officer throwing a 15-year-old girl to the ground, said Sunday that adults at the pool shouted racist slurs and statements before police arrived. Tatyana Rhodes told WFAA in Dallas that she was attacked Friday at Craig Ranch North Community Pool after her friend called a woman racist.
Rhodes described hearing a woman at the pool "saying racial slurs to people at the pool party" including "black f---er" and "that's why you live in Section 8 [public housing] homes." A 14-year-old girl "stood up for us, saying that's not right, that's racist and things like that" and then "they started verbally abusing her," said Rhodes, who lives in the neighborhood. One of the ladies, "Kate," who Rhodes described as "Caucasian," came up and "smacked [her] in the face" and that's when "both of the women attacked me," said Rhodes, who added that most of the people at the pool party also lived in the Craig Ranch housing community.
The release of a seven-minute clip depicting officers aggressively chasing down black teens trying to leave the pool provoked a national outcry this weekend amid broader discussions of police brutality in minority communities and has led to the officer, identified as Cpl. Eric Casebolt, being placed on administrative leave. The police responded to a 911 call about "a disturbance involving multiple juveniles at the location, who do not live in the area or have permission to be there, refusing to leave," according to the McKinney Police Department's Facebook page.
In the original video, captured by 15-year-old Brandon Brooks, an officer can be seen running through the dispersing crowd and telling the teens to get on the ground, as well as handcuffing several. Minutes later, the officer can be seen throwing the 15-year-old girl, later identified as Dajerria Becton, onto the ground and sitting on her while Becton called for her mother. At one point in the video, when bystanders tried to help Becton, the officer briefly turned and drew his gun, pointing it at several of the teenagers.
McKinney was sued in 2009 by the Inclusive Communities Project for housing discrimination after town officials rejected a proposal to build affordable and low-income housing on the predominately white west side of the town, International Business Times previously reported. The settlement resulted in the McKinney Housing Authority providing loans to develop as many as 400 low-income housing units.
McKinney recently drew criticism after several middle school students were sent home June 3 in for wearing shirts saying "Gay O.K.," according to NBC Dallas-Fort Worth.
The original video of the police can be found below: