In June of 2015, a video of a white Texas cop body-slamming and pinning a black teenager to the ground went viral, adding fuel to the nationwide debate over systemic racial bias and police brutality. The incident began when police responded to a call after a group of black teens were kicked out of a swimming pool in a mostly-white neighborhood in McKinney, Texas. The video of the incident shows one of the cops, later identified as Cpl. Eric Casebolt, slamming a young girl to the ground and kneeling on her back while she cried for her mother.
The girl who was pinned to the ground, 16-year-old Dajerria Becton, has now filed a $5 million dollar lawsuit over “Officer Eric Casebolt’s individual use of excessive force, assault, unlawful detention resulting in the injuries to a minor child, D.B. under the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution.” Becton is suing Casebolt, both individually and in his capacity as a police officer, the McKinney Police Department, and the City of McKinney.
“The City of McKinney denies the claims alleged against it and the McKinney Police Department, and as such, will vigorously defend the recently filed lawsuit,” a representative from the city said in response to 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.”
After the video went viral, McKinney Police Chief Greg Conley said that Casebolt “came into the call out of control, and as the video shows, was out of control during the incident.” Casebolt resigned from the department that month, but a grand jury declined to indict him on any charges related to the incident.