Jun 09, 2015
More than a thousand outraged community members took to the streets of McKinney, Texas on Monday night, two days after a local police officer assaulted a number of black and brown teenagers attending a pool party.
As they marched roughly one mile from a local elementary school to the Craig Ranch pool where the incident occurred, demonstrators carried signs--some of which read, "My skin color is not a crime"--and chanted "Fire Him!" referring to McKinney police Cpl. Eric Casebolt, whose brutal actions were caught on video. Others rallied outside of the McKinney police station.
Casebolt, who had been with the department since 2005, was placed on administrative leave on Sunday.
"I speak for a lot of different people who live here," one community member toldReuters. "I'm angry. I've been angry all day. But to be treated that way... Thank god it wasn't my son."
We Interrupt This Article with an Urgent Message!
Common Dreams is a not-for-profit news service. All of our content is free to you - no subscriptions; no ads. We are funded by donations from our readers. This media model only works if enough readers pitch in. We have millions of readers every month and, it seems, too many take our survival for granted. It isn't. Our critical Mid-Year fundraiser is off to a very slow start - only 206 readers have contributed a total of $7,500 so far. We must raise $42,500 more before we can end this fundraising campaign and get back to focusing on what we do best.
The incident, which drew comparisons to pool segregation under Jim Crow and follows recent high-profile acts of discrimination and brutality by police officers, was widely condemned after a video of the attack went viral. In the cell phone video, Casebolt is seen throwing a 15-year-old black girl in a swimsuit to the ground and then kneeling on her bare back. When others try to come to her aid, Casebolt threatens them off with his firearm.
In an interview she gave after the attack, Dajerria Becton said that Casebolt "thought we were saying rude stuff to him.
"He grabbed me, twisted my arm on my back and shoved me in the grass and started pulling the back of my braids," Becton said. "I was telling him to get off me because my back was hurting bad.
"I understand how he was feeling, everybody surrounding him," she added. "I don't think he should have pulled a gun out on 15-year-old kids."
According to reports, there was also a small counter-protest with a handful of predominantly white residents denying that racism played a role in the attack and supporting the police actions.
Unlike other recent acts of police violence in Baltimore and Ferguson, this occurred at a private pool, in a gated community within an affluent suburb of Dallas, Texas--raising particular questions about wealth and race.
Daily Beast columnist Arthur Chu wrote Monday that the dynamics of "white privilege" were on display in McKinney:
Privilege means being invisible when the police sense trouble. It means feeling like the bullets and batons will never be used against you. It means feeling safe.
It means that when disruptive harassment from uninvited guests at a planned event leads to fights breaking out, the white harassers will be ignored while the black guests will be the ones assaulted. Regardless of who initiated the dustup, being black and belligerent makes you, in Casebolt's words, "part of the mob."
Dave Chappelle once joked that the worst part of being black and wealthy was that if he were robbed, he couldn't even call the cops. When they saw him in his house, he said, they'd instantly assume he was the burglar and shoot him. It was painful to laugh at then; it's even harder to laugh at now, after we've witnessed the ridiculous spectacle of a Harvard professor arrested for trying to open his own front door.
We're optimists who believe in the power of informed and engaged citizens to ignite and enact change to make the world a better place.
We're hundreds of thousands strong, but every single supporter counts.
Your contribution supports this new media model—free, independent, and dedicated to uncovering the truth. Stand with us in the fight for social justice, human rights, and equality. As a people-powered nonprofit news outlet, we cover the issues the corporate media never will. Join with us today!
Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.