Texas police officer quits after video shows him pushing teen, pointing gun
Warning: The video with this story contains offensive language
The white police officer who was recorded on video pushing a bikini-clad black, teenage girl to the ground at a pool party in northern Texas resigned from his post Tuesday after the incident went viral.
Officer David Eric Casebolt, 41, relinquished his role with the McKinney Police Department after almost 10 years on the force, according to his attorney, Jane Bishkin of Dallas.
A video posted online also showed Casebolt brandishing his gun at other black teens after he and other officers responded to complaints last Friday regarding a pool party at a community-owned McKinney swimming pool.
The officer's actions were "indefensible," McKinney police Chief Greg Conley said at a press conference after the officer submitted his resignation. But Casebolt was not pressured to quit the force, Conley said, despite having placed the former Texas state trooper on administrative leave following the incident.
Conley said a review of the incident on video showed that "our policies, our training and our practices do not support his actions."
Twelve officers responded to the report of fights and a disturbance at the pool party at the Craig Ranch North Community Pool in an affluent area of western McKinney. "Eleven of them performed according to their training," Conley said, adding Casebolt did not.
"He came into the call out of control and the video showed he was out of control during the incident," Conley said.
Casebolt's actions are under investigation and no decision has been made whether charges will be filed against him, Conley said. Charges of interfering with an officer and evading arrest against the only man arrested during Friday's incident have been dropped, Conley said. Everyone else detained was released.
Bishkin declined to say where Casebolt is now and added the officer had received death threats. The attorney said she would release more information at a news conference Wednesday.
The incident has prompted criticism of the affluent suburb of McKinney north of Dallas, which is among the nation's fastest growing cities, has highly regarded public schools and was ranked by one publication as best places to live in the U.S.
Public tensions with police
People who demonstrated this week at a McKinney school against the police response often used the city's name in the same sentence as Baltimore and Ferguson, Mo. — cities where use of force by police triggered widespread protests and violence.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is asking the U.S. Department of Justice to review the procedures of the McKinney police force, stopping short of asking for a formal investigation. A review of department policies is needed to ensure officers are responding appropriately to calls involving minorities, the local NAACP chapter said.
Casebolt had been accused of excessive force in a 2007 arrest as part of a federal lawsuit that named him and other officers. The officers arrested Albert Brown, who authorities say was found with crack cocaine during a traffic stop. Brown, who is black, accused the officers of forcibly searching him after pulling down his pants and slamming his head against a car hood. A defence attorney denied Brown's accusations. The lawsuit was dismissed in 2009.
McKinney also has been the target of lawsuits accusing it of racial segregation in public housing.
A lawsuit filed in 2008 accused the McKinney Housing Authority of restricting federally subsidized public housing for low-income families to older neighbourhoods east of U.S. Route 75. The lawsuit said that in the Dallas area, 85 per cent of those receiving so-called "Section 8" housing vouchers are African Americans. The 2000 census found McKinney's east side was where 68 per cent of the city's black population lived, while neighbourhoods west of U.S. Route 75 were 86 per cent white.
In 2007, 2,057 of the 2,485 housing units run by landlords willing to accept federal rent subsidy vouchers were on the east side. The lawsuit was settled in 2012 with a consent decree, which is an agreement to take specific actions without admitting guilt.
A message left with the housing authority seeking comment wasn't returned Tuesday.
The scrutiny contrasts McKinney's high ranking for its quality of life. A Time Inc. publication last year ranked the city the best place to live in the U.S., with a median family income in excess of $96,000 and job growth projected at 13 per cent. Crime is comparatively low and like other metropolitan suburbs in Texas, McKinney has seen unprecedented expansion. Its population has tripled in the last 15 years to approximately 155,000. About 75 per cent of residents are white while nearly 11 per cent are black.