McKinney pool party officer not indicted by grand jury
A Collin County Grand Jury declined to indict a McKinney police officer for his role in breaking up a pool party last June and taking down a 15-year-old girl.
The girl, her family and her attorney now say they’ll still see the officer and McKinney officials in court.
Eric Casebolt was caught on video pushing then 15-year-old Dajerria Becton to the ground and drawing his service weapon on other teens. Casebolt resigned from the department shortly after the incident, which drew nationwide attention.
Kim Cole, the attorney for the young teen in the video, said she wasn’t surprised by the decision not to indict.
“We currently live in a time in which the public servants who are hired to protect and serve are not required to uphold the very law they are sworn to enforce. The message is clear. Police are above the law,” Cole said.
The attorney announced during a Thursday afternoon press conference that they will be pursuing a civil lawsuit against the city of McKinney and Casebolt.
“I think that more should have been done,” said Dejerria. “I don't think he should have just been able to walk away without more being done.”
Tom Mills, Casebolt's attorney, said his client has been waiting for the grand jury's decision.
"He was very happy, he was very relieved," said Mills. “He mentioned that he had not been actively seeking employment for a while to kinda get this cloud, this issue, resolved in his life.”
Police said officers were responding to reports that teens unauthorized to use the pool were jumping a fence to gain entry. Residents of the neighborhood had said teens attending an end-of-school party at the pool and adjacent park were acting unruly.
Local and national civil rights groups days later held a protest in front of the McKinney Police Department, asking that prosecutors charge the former police corporal for his actions. Police Chief Greg Conley had called his actions "indefensible."
The Texas Rangers investigated Casebolt for his actions during the pool party incident at Craig Ranch and presented their findings to the Collin County District Attorney’s Office. The grand jury issued its no-bill on Thursday.
“If nothing is done, if nothing changes, this will happen again and again,” said Cole. “Grand juries will rule the same all over the country. Police are not held accountable.”
McKinney police said it will hold a community forum about the incident and Casebolt not getting indicted on Mon. June 27 at Old Settler’s Recreation Center.
A group, Next Generation Action Network, said it was outraged by the grand jury decision and will likely protest sometime next week at a time and place to be determined.