Crime & Justice

Texas officer in viral video of pool incident resigns

McKinney Police Corporal Eric Casebolt has been placed on administrative leave and some are calling for him to be fired after drawing his gun and pinning down a teenage girl.
McKinney Police Corporal Eric Casebolt has been placed on administrative leave and some are calling for him to be fired after drawing his gun and pinning down a teenage girl.
Brandon Brooks/Youtube

The white police officer who was video-recorded at a North Texas pool party pushing a black girl to the ground resigned Tuesday.

Officer David Eric Casebolt resigned from the McKinney Police Department after almost 10 years on the force, said his attorney, Jane Bishkin of Dallas.

A video recorded by another teenager and posted online showed him pushing a bikini-clad girl to the ground on Friday and brandishing his gun at other black teens after he and other officers responded to complaints about the pool party at a community-owned McKinney swimming pool.

McKinney Police Chief Greg Conley had placed the 41-year-old former Texas state trooper on administrative leave after the incident.

Bishkin declined to say where Casebolt is now and said the officer had received death threats. The attorney said she would release more information at a news conference Wednesday.

The incident has prompted criticism of the affluent suburb of McKinney north of Dallas, which is among the nation's fastest growing cities, has highly regarded public schools and was ranked by one publication as America's best place to live.

People who demonstrated this week at a McKinney school against the police response often used the city's name in the same sentence as Baltimore and Ferguson, Missouri — cities where use of force by police triggered widespread protests and violence.

The NAACP is asking the U.S. Department of Justice to review the procedures of the McKinney police force, stopping short of asking for a formal investigation. A review of department policies is needed to ensure officers are responding appropriately to calls involving minorities, the local NAACP chapter said.

Casebolt had been accused of excessive force in a 2007 arrest as part of a federal lawsuit that named him and other officers. The officers arrested Albert Brown Jr., who authorities say was found with crack cocaine during a traffic stop. Brown, who is black, accused the officers of forcibly searching him after pulling down his pants and slamming his head against a car hood. A defense attorney denied Brown's accusations. The lawsuit was dismissed in 2009.

McKinney also has been the target of lawsuits accusing it of racial segregation in public housing.

A lawsuit filed in 2008 accused the McKinney Housing Authority of restricting federally subsidized public housing for low-income families to older neighborhoods east of U.S. 75. The lawsuit said that in the Dallas area, 85 percent of those receiving so-called "Section 8" housing vouchers are African Americans. The 2000 census found McKinney's east side was where 68 percent of the city's black population lived, while neighborhoods west of U.S. 75 were 86 percent white.

In 2007, 2,057 of the 2,485 housing units run by landlords willing to accept federal rent subsidy vouchers were on the east side. The lawsuit was settled in 2012 with a consent decree, which is an agreement to take specific actions without admitting guilt.

A message left with the housing authority seeking comment wasn't returned Tuesday.

The scrutiny contrasts McKinney's high ranking for its quality of life. A Time Inc. publication last year ranked the city the best place to live in America, with a median family income in excess of $96,000 and job growth projected at 13 percent. Crime is comparatively low and like other metropolitan suburbs in Texas, McKinney has seen unprecedented expansion. Its population has tripled in the last 15 years to approximately 155,000. About 75 percent of residents are white while nearly 11 percent are black.

Associated Press writers Terry Wallace in Dallas, Jill Craig in McKinney and Juan A. Lozano in Houston contributed to this report.

This story has been updated.