McKinney chief: Officer's conduct raised concerns

A 7-minute video, posted to YouTube, of an incident at a recent McKinney pool party. Edited for language.

McKINNEY — McKinney police said Sunday that an officer has been placed on administrative leave after a Friday evening disturbance at the Craig Ranch North Community Pool that created a buzz on social media.

Police spokeswoman Sabrina Boston said the incident involved "multiple juveniles at the location, who do not live in the area or have permission to be there, refusing to leave." She said additional units were dispatched after the first officers to arrive "encountered a large crowd that refused to comply with police commands."

A seven-minute video clip, posted to YouTube shows the now-suspended officer, identified as Cpl. Eric Casebolt, using profanity and aggressively throwing a girl in a bathing suit to the ground, face-down. He then appears to pin her down with his knees as she is heard crying out for her mother.

The girl's family told News 8 that the girl is 15 years old.

"[The teenage] female was temporarily detained by one of the officers," police Chief Greg Conley told reporters on Sunday afternoon. "She was ultimately released to her parents."

A dozen police officers eventually responded to the disturbance.

"Several concerns about the conduct of one of the officers at the scene have been raised," Conley said. "The McKinney Police Department is committed to treating all persons fairly under the law. We are committed to preserving the peace and safety of our community for all our citizens."

Conley asked citizens to be patient and to respect the investigative process. On Monday police identified the officer as Casebolt, a 10-year veteran of the force.

A small group of citizens looked on as the chief addressed the issue. They were seen quietly praying after he finished.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas released a statement Sunday evening, calling for McKinney police to release the entire incident report and 911 call recording. The ACLU statement references the officer pulling his gun as a hostile and unnecessary tactic.

The statement read in part:

"While we don't know all the facts about the party, the crowd, or whether a fight broke out, what we do know is that the police response, as seen on the video, appears to be a textbook case of overuse of force. A well-trained police department would have responded more cautiously, with less hostility, and using sophisticated crowd control methods that favor de-escalation not escalation. Without question, guns were not needed and in fact risked turning a group of partying teenagers into a violent encounter that could have turned deadly.

"Police departments are intended to be organizations that protect and serve their constituents. But increasingly in this country we have two kinds of policing and we saw both in this incident: protecting and serving white communities and criminalizing and controlling black communities.

Brandon Brooks, who posted the unedited video clip titled Cops Crash Pool Party on Saturday, wrote that "this kind of force is uncalled for, especially on children and innocent bystanders."

LINK TO YOUTUBE VIDEO: CLICK HERE (warning: language)


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