The officer seen in a smartphone video throwing a 15-year-old black girl to the ground and sitting on her last week during a police raid on a McKinney, Texas, pool party resigned Tuesday while under investigation, McKinney Police Department Chief Greg Conley and Mayor Brian Loughmiller confirmed at a press conference. The officer, Eric Casebolt, resigned “on his own will” and will retain his pension and benefits, Conley said.
Community leaders during the weekend called for Casebolt, who was placed on paid administrative leave, to be taken off the force either through resignation or by being fired.
“I think it’s kind of important to point out … that [this particular case] is not indicative of the community as a whole,” Loughmiller said.
The charges filed against individuals at the pool party have been dropped, Conley said.
Conley, who said he had met with community leaders, emphasized the police force and community will need to work together to build and strengthen relationships. Conley said he had received numerous phone calls and emails from community members since Friday, when the incident occurred.
The police department was aware of the possibility that the video existed as early as Saturday morning, at which point officers began to investigate, Conley said. He said it was important to remember there were 12 or so other officers at the scene who did “exactly what we would want them to do.”
The investigation into Casebolt’s actions are ongoing, and there was no indication in the press conference Tuesday if criminal charges would be brought against him.
After Casebolt forced the 15-year-old girl to the ground and put his weight on her to keep her down, two young men appear to approach the scene in the video. One of those men, Adrian Martin, 18, has said he was simply approaching to comfort the screaming girl. Casebolt, in the video, pulled a gun on the men when a friend bumped into him and made him appear to lunge forward, the Dallas Morning News reported.
Police reports cited by the Dallas Morning News indicate Martin ignored orders to stay away from the Casebolt and then ran from a second officer off screen. Police are seen telling black teenagers to get on the ground, and apparently ignoring the white teenagers at the party.
The pool party incident, which resulted in no major injuries, has sparked outrage across the country. Media coverage has drawn comparisons to other prominent police violence situations in places like Baltimore and Ferguson.
Residents of McKinney have said racism is not a major issue in their community. Others have been critical of the police for raiding a party at a public pool where the teenagers had a legal right to be.