The purpose of the Daily WTF is to talk in brief about something that’s bothering me, whether that is a friend or a pop culture reference or something more serious like police brutality. Thus far, I’ve dealt with fairly light topics – people liking shitty movies, old people not knowing how to drive, and people not celebrating birthdays correctly – but today I want to talk about the McKinney Police Video.
You can watch the video in question here. In it, you will see several police officers quite literally catapult themselves onto a busy suburban street and start chasing down, yelling at, and cuffing black teenagers. Evidently, some black teens were causing a ruckus at a predominantly white swimming pool and someone called the cops on them, and the cops, instead of behaving in a calm and professional manner, screeched up to the scene nine units strong, started rolling around everywhere, and began indiscriminately harassing, detaining, and perhaps even arresting people. If you watch the video, you will also note that while the main cop in question, Officer Eric Casebolt, was quick to yell at and even draw his gun on black teens, he had no problem with the white kid recording him, the white kid walking up to him mid-altercation and handing him his flashlight, and the white adults stepping in and helping him detain the kids.
Arguably the most disturbing part of the video comes at the 3:00 minute mark when Officer Casebolt drags a black girl in a two piece bikini away from her friends, throws her on the ground, and drops his full weight on her from the 3:50 to 5:20 mark – a full minute and a half of a 180 pound cop on the spine of a skinny teenaged girl who is literally on the ground, her hands and feet shaking as she pleads with him to get off her.
At the 5:50 mark, two cops that ran after the kids Officer Casebolt drew his gun on return with a man who has obviously just been beaten. He is cuffed and noticeably limping, and there is blood around his mouth. When the two policemen drop him on the ground, he falls on his back. What did they do to him in the approximately two minutes from when they chased after him to when they brought him back on the scene? Chances are, they’ll claim that their actions were justified.
Approximately two minutes later, the video ends with Officer Casebolt, who is a supervisor in the McKinney Police Department, berating a couple black kids for moving despite the fact that they’ve been in the exact same place he told them to be. It’s also worth noting that the two were walking down the street when they were detained and weren’t at the swimming pool at all.
This video is horrifying and displays a level of aggression and racism that I’d honestly hoped wasn’t real. You have an over-aggressive police response to what is essentially a neighborhood dispute. You see clear profiling where police are detaining all black boys on the scene, making an example of a black girl, and letting white people do what they want. You have white adults helping white cops detain and hurt a black girl. You have undocumented police violence on someone that wasn’t even involved in the original complaint. God knows what else is happening that we aren’t seeing.
As of now, Officer Casebolt has been placed on administrative leave for drawing his weapon and being aggressive – it’s not yet certain if he’s on paid leave or not. The Chief of Police Greg Conley also said that they are going to thoroughly investigate the event. However, I’m not holding out much hope that they will penalize Officer Casebolt or do anything to make sure this doesn’t happen again because the problem clearly isn’t just him. It’s the eight other officers that did nothing to stop him. It’s the two other officers that just beat a man because he happened to be there. It’s the white adults preventing the black teens from helping their friends. It’s the white neighbors calling the cops because some black teens showed up at “their” pool. And until we deal with this problem – decisively, sweepingly, and with no remorse for the officers, administrators, and “good people” perpetuating it – it’s just going to keep happening again and again and again.