McKinney, Texas Police Officers Continue Trend of Violence Against Unarmed Black Youth
A video emerged Sunday of a pool party which reportedly occurred on Saturday night in McKinney, Texas. On the footage, police officers are seen forcefully grabbing, pushing, apprehending, arresting, and even sitting on Black teenagers dressed in bathing suits. In particular, one officer’s treatment of a young Black girl seemed unnecessarily excessive. And, it continues in the theme of police brutality and unequal treatment of young Black people, especially young Black women, across this country.
According to the McKinney Police Department’s Facebook page, their officers responded to complaints of loud disturbances and unlawful visitors at the Craig Ranch North Community pool Saturday evening at approximately 7:15pm. After receiving several more calls about an alleged altercation between several of the Black partygoers in this predominantly White neighborhood, additional officers responded.
“First responding officers encountered a large crowd that refused to comply with police commands. Nine additional units responded to the scene. Officers were eventually able to gain control of the situation.
McKinney Police later learned of a video that was taken at the scene by an unknown party. This video has raised concerns that are being investigated by the McKinney Police Department. At this time, one of the responding officers has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of this investigation.”
So, now that we have their take on the event, let’s watch the video for ourselves.
Several important things immediately jump out at me from this clip.
First, did that officer do a geriatric looking tuck-and-roll manuever across the damn grass for no apparent reason? Did he? No, but seriously. The tucking-and-rolling cop makes it apparent, in this video, that he was cut prematurely from SWAT academy or that he spends his free time studying Bruce Lee films hoping for his big moment to debut his cool moves. While I understand that these moments cause rises in adrenaline, there is literally nothing which requires that this dude act like the Texas Jedi. This may seem comical but it is a part of a larger narrative of police officers over-embellishing alleged offenses involving Black Americans and criminalizing Black folks without regard for existing laws or standards. Therefore, it isn’t surprising when these cops use excessive force.
Second, one thing which seems incredibly clear in this footage is that the cops are not even remotely interested in arresting or even agitating the White folks on the scene. I mean, the overweight White dude in the jean shorts is in almost every frame. While almost every Black teen is screamed at, grabbed, pushed, or threatened, the White people at the party get to watch the event unfold like they bought front row tickets. Then, you see the White bystanders trying to coach the Black youngsters so they won’t receive any additional aggression from the cops that they called to the scene. Weird right? Like, it is almost like these White people see this altercation as a teachable moment for the Black pool partiers rather than a potentially deadly altercation they incited by calling the cops in the first place.
Third, what is most upsetting about this footage is the treatment of the young Black girl starting at about minute 3:00. The tuck-and-roll cop first grabs her arm. Then, he pushes her head down into the ground and grabs her braids. At this point, other teens run to her aid. So, he pulls his gun on them, scaring the hell out of everyone on the scene, well, except the White people.
Following the commotion, the young woman can be heard on the video saying, “Call my mama now. Call my mama!” The tuck-and-roll cop then grabs her by the arm and neck and yells, “On your face!” When he finally forces the young girl, who is wearing a two-piece swimsuit, to the ground, he puts the full weight of his body on her. He even puts his knees on her back. She can then be heard saying, “He’s hurting me!” as she starts crying loudly. He treated her more harshly than anyone else in the footage. She was rightfully terrified and justifiably indignant. I can’t help but wonder how much her gender factored into his decision to make an example of her.
At that moment, I kept thinking to myself, “With my heart condition, what he’s doing would have killed me.” It made me think of Eric Garner being choked to death. It made me think of Tamir Rice and Michael Brown being criminalized and denied their humanity. While I was immensely grateful to find that no one was killed in this altercation, I am also keenly aware of how problematic it is that I now use that as a criteria in gauging the severity of these events.
Adding to the intimidation tactics the tuck-and-roll cop used, he also forced two random Black boys, who repeatedly say they just arrived and were walking around with friends, to sit on the curb without telling them why. He can be heard on the footage saying, forcefully while pointing at the boys, “I asked y’all to sit. You became a part of the mob. You could have been the guys that are doing right and you weren’t. So, now you’re sitting here in trouble.”
Literally, any Black person in the area could have potentially been a person of interest under this framework. How do we control a police structure which finds this type of tyrannical treatment of Black people okay?
Apparently the officer has been placed on leave following the release of the footage online (not following the event itself). I’m sure he will be paid while on leave.
I guess it’s a good thing someone decided to record them, hunh?
Photo Credit: Youtube
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