McKinney, Texas Police Officers Continue Trend of Violence Against Unarmed Black Youth

mckinney-police-pool-partyA 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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Jenn M. Jackson

Jenn M. Jackson, PhD is a co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Water Cooler Convos. She is a native of Oakland, CA. Jenn is a radical Black feminist scholar who believes none of us are free until all of us are free.

4 Responses

  1. Andrew Adams says:

    The opinions in this article are out of line, obviously written by someone who doesn’t live in McKinney. It is out of step with reality.

    First, the officer tripped.

    Second, that girl was mouthing off and refusing to comply with instructions. All the officer wanted her to do was be still. Even when she was sitting on the ground, she was still mouthing off and flailing around. What kind of parents teach their kids to be disrespectful like that? If she were my kid, I would ground her for the rest of the summer for acting like that.

    Second, the “white folks” understand that you stand back and let the police do what they are trying to do. There are also black people on the scene who are not interfering, not mouthing off, and not running around who are left alone. For those that were still not behaving, apparently, some do need a “teachable moment”.

    Third, how smart was it for those two boys to rush a police officer? From the vantage point of where the police officer was, in a low position, it would appear as though one of the boys was reaching to get something from his back pocket while running towards the officer. Did he have a weapon? Not this time, but the officer wouldn’t have known that. Were they going for his gun? What do you think would have happened if one of those boys held the officer down and the other succeeded in getting the gun? Instead of complaining of some loudmouth brat getting pushed, we would have dead kids.

    One of the boys “sitting here in trouble” was white. He got the lesson and didn’t move until told he could.

    This is NOT a racial issue. McKinney does not have racial problems in its community. There is no place you can go in the city where you do not see blacks, whites, Asians, and Hispanics intermingling and socializing with each other.

    I don’t know who the large man was, but you can see that he kept people back, when they should have been keeping back. He deserves a thank you, especially from those who were about to get themselves into a world of trouble.

    This is a problem of low life outsiders trespassing, people who believe they are entitled to other people’s property. Over 100 teenagers showed up who didn’t live there, expecting to use the facilities they didn’t own. As it turns out, in this situation those trespassers were all black. This is not an issue of race, that is just who happened to show up. Where they came from, no one knows, only that they did not have an HOA membership ID and exceeded the two guests per member rule. This is also a problem of disrespect for authority. Right or wrong, obey officers, don’t talk back, and if you have a problem, sort it out in court.

    It is those who don’t live here who are calling this a race problem. It isn’t. Go away.

  2. China Hall says:

    First of all Andrew your comments are as stupid as you are, you mean to tell me the only kids that were acting disruptive just so happened to be black? tell me your are not that stupid or misinformed, there was a WHITE kid that was there Filming the video who said that that police officer was acting like an animal and was only telling the black kids to sit down if what you say was true ,why wasn’t the kid filming this whole thing asked to sit?? ill wait…………..
    and several WHITE kids said the reason this whole thing started was because an adult white woman was telling his black friends to go back to their section 8 housing, Really!!! this woman sounds like trailer trash to me and I don’t care where she lives, the fact of the matter is , ignorant, disruptive and crazy comes in all colors but there’s no need to show up for a disruptive call w a pool full of teenagers and pull out a gun and go rolling around like a crazy person….whether that girl was black with braids or white with pigtails, the cop was absolutely unprofessional and out of his d@mn mind seems like he has watch PAUL BLART MALL COP too many times. PERIOD

  3. Andrew Adams says:

    There were a few white kids who started acting up. One white boy started mouthing off, Casebolt yelled at him to sit down. He sat down and kept his mouth shut until he was told he could get up. Casebolt also detained a white girl before this video began. But you didn’t see that, now did you?

    Your error is that you are looking through the narrow focus of a single camera. The scene is much larger than what you see. Police in many places have been instructed to ignore people who are taking video to do so, as long as they are not directly interfering. I don’t know if that is an explicit McKinney policy, but experienced officers would be aware of it. The white boy with the camera wasn’t ignored because he was white, he was ignored because he was just standing there with a camera.

    The reason this fiasco started is because Tatiana Rhodes, who organizes pay for entry parties for extra money, organized a pool party for her friends and family. This was not to be one of those parties, but she was handing out flyers for the pay parties. Either Rhodes or her rapper DJ tweeted, “Free pool party” and the riff raff from all over the Dallas area showed up. What happens when 100+ teenagers discover they are not allowed into a facility that limits guest to 2 per member? They climbed the fence. They were asked to leave by security, and many refused. They are now criminal trespassers. This is the original crime. The person responsible is Tatiana Rhodes.

    The bratty girl on the video was a legitimate guest, but she also did not live in the area and obviously did not know how to behave. You don’t smart mouth a police officer when he is trying to control a crowd.

    The response of the officers, including Casebolt, does not involve race. If there is a racial question, ask why is it that ALL of the criminal trespassers were black? That answer points back to Rhodes or her rapper DJ.

    If you paid attention to the video, you can see that there was a tree root sticking that Casebolt tripped over. You can also see that at that time, he was holding a flashlight, not a gun. He was absolutely correct to draw his gun when he did. If one of those boys had a weapon or if they tackled him and grabbed his, then the discussions would be about dead teenagers and not pushing and shouting.

    I will repeat, the responsibility, the person who made the first mistake, is Tatiana Rhodes.

  4. kim says:

    please explain to me why he would be holding a flash light in broad daylight?……………………………………………You are a biased idiot…im guessing the kid who just shot up the church had every right to do so also?