McKinney officer involved in pool party fracas quits police force

Jane Bishkin of Dallas, the attorney representing McKinney Officer David Casebolt, speaks to the media about the case on Wednesday.
Jane Bishkin of Dallas, the attorney representing McKinney Officer David Casebolt, speaks to the media about the case on Wednesday. WFAA.com

A white police officer recorded on video pushing a black teenager in a bikini to the ground at a pool party Friday resigned from the police force Tuesday, the city’s police chief said.

Officer David Eric Casebolt’s actions were “indefensible,” McKinney Police Chief Greg Conley said at a news conference after the officer submitted his resignation.

“He came into the call out of control and the video showed he was out of control during the incident,” Conley said.

Casebolt was not pressured to quit the force, Conley said.

Casebolt, 41, is a former Texas state trooper and 10-year veteran of the McKinney force. He was put on administrative leave after the incident. His lawyer, Jane Bishkin of Dallas, confirmed Tuesday that he had quit the force.

He was one of 12 officers who responded to 911 calls about fights at a pool party at the Craig Ranch North Community Pool.

A teen at the party posted a video on social media showing Casebolt cursing, pulling out his gun and slamming a 15-year-old girl to the ground.

Conley said a review of the incident video showed that “our policies, our training and our practices do not support his actions.”

“Eleven of them performed according to their training,” Conley said. Casebolt did not, he said.

Casebolt’s actions remain under investigation and no decision has been made whether charges will be filed against him, Conley said.

Bishkin declined to say where Casebolt is now and said the officer had received death threats. The attorney said she would release more information at a news conference Wednesday.

The affluent suburb of McKinney north of Dallas is among the nation’s fastest growing cities, has highly regarded public schools and was ranked by one publication as America’s best place to live.

People who demonstrated this week at a McKinney school compared the city to Baltimore and Ferguson, Mo., where use of deadly force by police triggered widespread protests and violence.

The resignation is a step in the right direction, said Dominique Alexander, president of the Dallas area-Next Generation Action Network and organizer of the demonstrations.

“We still need a serious investigation into the charges that need to be brought against him in this matter,” Alexander said, adding that Casebolt should be drug tested.

The NAACP is asking the U.S. Department of Justice to review the procedures of the McKinney police force, stopping short of asking for a formal investigation. A review of department policies is needed to ensure officers are responding appropriately to calls involving minorities, the local NAACP chapter said.

Casebolt had been accused of excessive force in a 2007 arrest as part of a federal lawsuit that named him along with other officers. The officers arrested Albert Brown Jr., who authorities said was found with crack cocaine during a traffic stop. Brown, who is black, accused the officers of forcibly searching him after pulling down his pants and slamming his head against a car hood. A defense attorney denied Brown’s accusations. The lawsuit was dismissed in 2009.

The city of McKinney has also been the target of a lawsuit accusing it of racial segregation in public housing.

A lawsuit in 2008 accused the McKinney Housing Authority of restricting federally subsidized public housing for low-income families to older neighborhoods east of U.S. 75. The lawsuit said that in the Dallas area, 85 percent of those receiving Section 8 housing vouchers are African Americans.

The lawsuit was settled in 2012 with a consent decree, which is an agreement to take specific actions without admitting guilt.

A message left with the housing authority seeking comment wasn’t returned Tuesday.

The scrutiny contrasts with McKinney’s high ranking for its quality of life. A Time Inc. publication last year said the city was the best place to live in America, with a median family income in excess of $96,000 and job growth projected at 13 percent. Crime is comparatively low and like other metropolitan suburbs in Texas, McKinney has seen unprecedented expansion. Its population has tripled in the last 15 years to approximately 155,000. About 75 percent of residents are white while nearly 11 percent are black.

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