Footage has emerged of a Texan police officer brutally manhandling a black girl at a pool party, sharpening further focus on America's tensions between its black communities and police force. Officer Eric Casebolt also pulled a gun on a group of teenagers. The video appears to show a gross overreaction to a fairly minor suburban disturbance.
He arrives on the scene with a totally unnecessary action roll and threatens a group of black teenagers. Witnesses say the teens had gatecrashed a party and been racially abused by a white woman who told them to return to "Section 8 housing".
Casebolt was responding to a "disturbance" at the community pool caused by the alleged racial abuse. On arrival, he rushes through the crowd of seemingly well-behaved bystanders, handcuffs teenagers at random, pulls the girl's hair, uses his superior strength to force her head to the ground and brandishes his weapon at teenagers trying to defend the the girl (3 minutes in).
The past year has been a traumatic one for America and its black communities. Ferguson and Baltimore are two cities that have been besieged by protest in recent times after Michael Brown and Freddie Gray died at the hands of police. Both were unarmed. American law enforcement clearly has deep seated issues when it comes to racism.
Thankfully no-one was seriously injured in this incident, but Casebolt's aggression and anger is demonstrative of the tensions that continue to exist in the country and the power that the police have. In light of the video footage emerging Casebolt has been suspended. A spokesperson for the McKinney Police Department said in a statement: "McKinney Police later learned of a video that was taken at the scene by an unknown party. This video has raised concerns that are being investigated by the McKinney Police Department. At this time, one of the responding officers has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of this investigation."