A lawyer for former officer Eric Casebolt said that her client regrets his violent actions toward Black teens at a Texas pool party
The officer caught on camera waving a gun and violently cursing at young Black teenagers at a McKinney, Texas, pool party resigned from his post yesterday evening and has issued an apology for his actions.
Casebolt's attorney, Jane Bishkin, appeared at a press conference earlier this afternoon and said that her client regrets his actions. She said that Casebolt had responded to two separate suicide calls earlier that day, and he arrived at the pool party in an "emotional state." Upon arriving, Bishkin said, Casebolt believed that all of the teens present were assault suspects.
"With all that happened that day, he allowed his emotions to get the better of him," Bishkin said at the press conference. "Eric regrets that his conduct portrayed him and his department in a negative light. He apologizes to all who were offended."
According to reports, police were called to a neighborhood pool on the evening of Friday, June 5, after receiving calls about a fight between Black teenagers and White adults at the pool complex. The alleged catalyst of the altercation was a White parent who told a group of Black teens to return to their “Section 8 housing.”
Witness video shows Casebolt arriving at the scene and targeting the Black teens who were standing by, yelling at them to vacate the premises. At one point, Casebolt grabs 14-year-old Dajerria Becton by her hair and slams her facedown on the ground. As two teen boys come to her aide, Casebolt pulls out his gun and begins to chase them. He returns to Becton and kneels on her back, demanding that she remain still. He continues handcuffing the young Black guests and cursing at them to follow his orders while ignoring the White partygoers.
Casebolt announced his resignation yesterday following peaceful protests that had erupted throughout the city. Local civil rights activists are pushing for an assault charge.
McKinney Police Chief Greg Conley has condemned Casebolt, calling his actions "indefensible" and "out of control." "Our policies, our training and our practices do not support his actions," Conley said at a press conference last night.
The police department is currently investigating the incident. Though he resigned, Casebolt is still receiving full benefits and a pension.