"He Has to Go": Community Leaders Want McKinney Cop Charged Over Video - NBC Connecticut
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"He Has to Go": Community Leaders Want McKinney Cop Charged Over Video

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    NEWSLETTERS

    McKinney Officer on Leave After Video Released

    The McKinney Police Department places Cpl. Eric Casebolt on administrative leave as officials investigate an incident captured on video of police responding to a disturbance call Friday. (Photo taken from YouTube video posted by Brandon Brooks) (Published Monday, June 8, 2015)

    Community leaders and parents in McKinney, Texas, called for charges Monday against the police officer seen on video manhandling a bikini-clad 15-year-old girl and aggressively confronting other teens outside a pool party.

    "He has to go," David Lee, who described himself as a Christian author, told reporters.

    The officer, identified as veteran officer Eric Casebolt, was questioned by internal police investigators on Monday after he was put on paid administrative leave pending an investigation.

    Community leaders called for him to be fired and charged at a news conference Monday.

    The video showed one of the officers pulling the girl, wearing only a bathing suit, to the ground, then appearing to use his knees to pin her face down. He can also be seen pointing his gun at other teens and cursing.

    The girl was identified as Dajerria Becton, but community leaders said Monday that she wouldn't be speaking publicly about the incident, after she earlier told KDFW that she had been following police's orders when she was taken down. Becton is 15, her lawyer confirmed; she was originally reported as 14.

    One father, Jahi Adisa Bakari, told reporters the officer had struck his 13-year-old daughter when she tried to come to Dajerria's rescue.

    "I don't like grown men touching my girls," Bakari said at the news conference. "This guy was just out of control. He should be drug-tested, then fired.

    "He pulled the gun out on teenagers. That's the one thing I give him credit for: He didn't pull the trigger," he said. "If he had, this McKinney would be another Ferguson 100 times over."

    McKinney Police Chief Greg Conley told reporters Sunday that police had been sent to the Craig Ranch North Community Pool around 7:15 p.m. Friday after a 911 call about a disturbance involving teens the caller said neither lived in the area nor had permission to be there. Later callers told police some of the teens were fighting, police said.

    The community leaders and parents who spoke Monday said the teens had "every right" to be at the pool, and that they were there for a pool party and cookout hosted by a mother and her two teen daughters.

    Brandon Brooks, the bystander who recorded the video on his cell phone, told NBC News that the fight had ended by the time the cops arrived, but responding officers began chasing people and throwing them on the ground.

    "When I started the video was right after all the kids who got put on the ground had gotten up and ran away. The cop was chasing after all those kids, just putting every black person he saw on the ground," Brooks said.

    The NAACP said local, state and national leadership were meeting Monday with Conley, who promised a "complete and thorough investigation."

    “The excessive force on an unarmed 14-year-old girl clad only in a bikini by an officer wearing a uniform and a gun, was particularly troubling,” NAACP president Cornell William Brooks said in a statement Sunday evening. “These teens appeared to be simply attending a pool party and deserved respectful treatment under the law.”

    McKinney Mayor Brian Loughmiller said in a written statement that he was also "disturbed and concerned by the incident and actions depicted in the video.” 

    American Civil Liberties Union of Texas called on McKinney police to release Casebolt's disciplinary history, along with the entire incident report and the 911 calls.

    "Police departments will never regain the trust of their communities until they are transparent and accountable,” the ACLU statement read.