Hundreds of protesters peacefully rallied outside of an elementary school in McKinney, Texas on Monday, calling upon authorities to reprimand local officers for a controversial crackdown against a group of teenagers accused of trespassing on a pool party.
Protesters expressed outrage over one officer's conduct, captured in a viral video that showed him drawing a weapon, cursing at the teenagers and pinning one girl in her bathing suit to the ground. Protesters in the Dallas suburb brandished signs that read, "My skin color is not a crime," and "Don't tread on our kids," local affiliate NBCDFW reports.
On Tuesday, new footage recorded by Texas 13-year-old Jahda Bakardi was released, showing a different angle of the scene as Officer David Eric Casebolt pushed a girl's head to the ground and put his knee in her back. "[People who watch the video] are acting like all the black people at the party were at fault," the teen told USA Today.
Neighbors say the party had gotten out of control even before the police arrived. One resident, Benét Embry, said that as many as 130 young adults were attending the party, some even scaling to fences to get into the pool after being turned away from the entrance by a security guard. The police department said in a statement they received a call from the security guard and "several additional calls related to this incident advising that juveniles were now actively fighting."
“As an African-American male, of course I had a concern seeing a 14-year-old African-American female in a swimsuit on the ground,” Embry told the New York Times. “But I don’t believe that the officer was coming out to pick on black kids.”
But Brandon Brooks, who recorded the original viral video, says tensions only escalated after an altercation between a white woman and a black teenager. Brooks told Fox 4 News that the woman said the teen should "go back to Section 8 housing," referring to federal housing aid given to low-income families.
The city of McKinney has been the target of lawsuits that claim the housing authority racially segregated its Section 8 housing.
McKinney police have placed Officer Casebolt on administrative leave, pending an internal affairs investigation.