A Texas police officer videotaped pulling a gun out at a teen pool party resigned Tuesday in the latest racially-charged incident involving alleged excessive force by US law enforcement.
McKinney Police Chief Greg Conley denounced Eric Casebolt’s “indefensible” actions, insisting they did not reflect the department’s “high standard of action.” Video filmed by one of the teens and later posted on YouTube shows Casebolt — who is white — shouting obscenities at the black teenagers as he orders them to lie on the ground.
At one point, he is seen throwing a bikini-clad girl to the ground and pinning her down. He then pulled out his gun when two young black men approached, apparently trying to help her.
“Our policies, our training, our practice do not support his actions,” the police chief said at a press conference.
“He came into the call out of control and as the video shows, was out of control during the incident.” Conley said a dozen officers were sent to the community center Friday amid reports of a “disturbance” at the community pool. A group of uninvited youngsters had shown up at the pool party and then refused to leave, police said.
Authorities launched a probe after becoming aware of the existence of the video, which went viral and was replayed repeatedly on US news broadcasts.
The incident comes at a time of heightened racial tensions in the wake of a series of incidents involving questionable use of sometimes lethal police force in black communities across the United States.
Late Monday, a group of protesters demonstrated at a school and a police station in McKinney, waving signs that read “End Police Brutality” and calling for Conley to lose his job.
The US Justice Department has launched investigations into possible civil rights violations by police in a number of the cases.
Long-simmering tensions erupted into weeks of sometimes violent protests after the fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri in August.