Texas Police Officer Resigns over Pool Party Confrontation; Chief Calls Conduct “Indefensible”

“He came to the call out of control,” Conley said, adding: “I had 12 officers on the scene, and 11 of them performed according to their training.”

A bystander’s video, which garnered millions of views on YouTube, showed Casebolt shouting and cursing at teenagers who did not appear to be acting violently or aggressively, with Casebolt wrestling some black teenagers to the ground.

Officials said residents had called the police to complain about an out-of-control party and fighting. Some teenagers said they had permission to be at the pool and said residents had harassed them.  The incident prompted a protest Monday as police promised to investigate Casebolt’s actions.

By resigning, the internal investigation comes to an end, Conley said, and Casebolt will still be able to keep his pension and benefits. The chief added that a criminal investigation was ongoing and would take “a matter of time to work through.”

Mayor Brian Loughmiller told reporters that he was keeping close tabs on the situation and had met with local community leaders to discuss their concerns.

“We all have to learn from what occurred,” said Loughmiller.

Jane Bishkin, a Dallas attorney who represents Casebolt and several police unions, told The Times in a text message that there would be a statement about Casebolt’s resignation 1 p.m. Wednesday.

The episode has tapped into the ongoing national furor over how police handle black community members. It was unusual in that no one involved appeared to be seriously hurt.

Even so, the video proved to be evocative enough to draw public condemnation and, for some critics, summon memories of the nation’s segregation years, when African Americans were denied the right to swim in pools with white Americans.

But the McKinney Fraternal Order of Police, the union that represents Casebolt, said Monday that “this was not a racially motivated incident” and said McKinney police do not conduct “racially biased policing.”

One policing expert, David Bradford, executive director of the Northwestern University Center for Public Safety, told The Times that “in this particular case, the officer may have been overzealous in taking an enforcement role rather than a peacekeeper role.”

“Just based on what I’ve seen in the video … if this was my department and that was my officer, we would definitely be doing some remedial training and some reorientation with regard to what our role is and what our job is in the community,” Bradford said. He nonetheless cautioned that he would still want to know more about what happened before he reached a definitive conclusion about Casebolt’s actions.

In a situation in which officers are facing large crowds and trying to restore the peace, Bradford said, “you would want to take calming actions to calm the party down and disperse the participants in a lawful manner.”

article by Matt Pearce via latimes.com

6 thoughts on “Texas Police Officer Resigns over Pool Party Confrontation; Chief Calls Conduct “Indefensible””

  1. i do not know what was going through the mind of the officer but there are numerous cases that go unnoticed and it is outrageous at this time and age that such incidences still occur

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