Teen girl files lawsuit after being violently pinned down by officer at Texas pool party
A summer day pool party ended tragically for teenager Dajerria Becton when McKinney police officer Eric Casebolt violently slammed her to the ground, handcuffed her and sat on her back like she was a prop. In the video of the 2015 incident a 15-year-old Becton is shown not resisting while pleading for her mother. The viral video sparked national outrage and conversation about the abuse of black girl’s bodies by law enforcement. Last year a grand jury decided not to charge the officer, but Becton is filing a $5 million federal lawsuit against the cop, the city and the McKinney police department.
Becton is seeking damages from the June 5, 2015 incident that occurred at occurred in the Craig Ranch community. According to the lawsuit obtained by Dallas Morning News, the damages include “mental anguish, loss of quality of life as well as attorney fees.”
Cops claim they were called to break up a fight amongst teens at the pool party, but witnesses all say Becton was not involved in the incident. In the lawsuit Becton says she was invited to the pool by a resident. In the federal suit filed by Becton and her legal guardian Shashona Becton they claim officer Casebolt violated her constitutional rights by using excessive force.
According to The Dallas Morning News, the lawsuit reads:
The entire time D.B. she could do nothing [but] cry out in pain and repeatedly beg for her ‘Momma’ as she endured the pain inflicted upon her by Defendant Casebolt’s physical assault…
There exists a practice of excessive force incidents that result from the training or lack thereof, received by MPD officers,” the lawsuit reads. “Upon information and belief, MPD officers are trained by individuals with little or no experience working in the field.
Although the Police Chief Greg Conley called the officer’s actions “indefensible” in a news conference following the incident, the police department is now back pedaling. The department released a statement refuting the allegations made in the lawsuit. “McKinney prides itself in cultivating the highest standards of training and professionalism for our officers, and it strongly believes that its standards and training will withstand legal challenge,” the statement reads.
Quite different than the “Our policies, our training and our practice do not support his actions” tune he was singing in 2015.
McKinney was flooded with protestors following the incident as it was one of many in which police used excessive force against black and brown people. A then 15-year-old girl going viral in her bikini due to physical assault by an officer absolutely suffers from mental anguish. Those mental scars will likely last a lifetime.
Cities across the nation should be tired of paying victims for cops assaulting and killing unarmed citizens. Perhaps if she wins the McKinney police department will think twice about profiling, subduing and assaulting black and brown people as disparaging rates. We doubt it, but one can hope.