Parents of children at the Texas pool party Friday that was aggressively broken up by police, including one officer who threw a 15-year-old girl to the ground and kneeled on her, continued to express anger Monday at the McKinney Police Department, claiming for brutality and racial targeting. A group of parents also made their anger known Sunday night outside the city's police headquarters.
"I don't like grown men touching my girls," said Jahi Adisa Bakari, who also said the officer, Eric Casebolt, had struck his 13-year-old daughter, according to WNBC New York. "He pulled the gun out on teenagers. That's the one thing I give him credit for: He didn't pull the trigger."
A seven-minute video was released this weekend showing the pool party being shut down, with Casebolt running and shouting at black teenagers to get on the ground before throwing one of the girls onto the grass. Several of the community leaders who spoke at Monday's press conference said the teens were allowed to be at the pool and that they were there for a cookout hosted by a mother and her two teenage daughters, according to WNBC New York.
"This is summertime and this is what they're gathering to do is to have fun in a manner that's not violating the law. And for officers to come in and slam kids and talk to them in a way that their parents probably don't talk to them is the problem. It's not a black and white thing ... it's a compassion thing," LaShadion Anthony, the father of one of the children at the party, said at the conference, according to KTVT Dallas-Fort Worth. "In the video we can clearly see them only going after the African-American kids, they're only tackling them ... the kid with the phone, they didn't say anything to him."
Anthony also discussed how, when his mother's house burned down in October, police officers spent more time interrogating him in the street instead of trying to save his stepfather, who was upstairs dying in the flames. "This is not an isolated incident," he said.
Several other members of the community have expressed dissatisfaction with police behavior, including a former McKinney officer who criticized the department for its race problem. "I don't care what she was yelling at that officer. Anything would not have justified throwing her to the ground and pushing her down and throwing her face into the concrete like he did," Pete Schulte, a former McKinney police officer and longtime reserve deputy, told KDFW Dallas.
“There is an indication based on watching the video that the white people who were around the officers weren’t talked to, they weren’t pushed away, they weren’t told to get on the ground, they weren’t put in handcuffs. The only individuals McKinney police were doing that to were those that were African-American,” said Schulte.
"He has to go," said David Lee, a self-described Christian author who was referring to Casebolt, reported WNBC New York.
The officers were responding to a 911 call reporting a disturbance at the pool after several adult women, who are white, and teenage girls, who were black, fought over alleged racial slurs.
The Next Generation Action Network, a Texas activist group, planned a protest Monday at 6:30 p.m. CDT.
McKinney Mayor Brian Loughmiller said in a statement that he was "disturbed and concerned by the incident and actions depicted in the video," reported WNBC New York.
The original video can be watched here: