Grand Jury Clears Ex-Cop in Pool Incident

6/23/2016 3:53:00 PM, David Lee
     McKINNEY, Texas (CN) - A North Texas grand jury declined Thursday to indict a white police officer who pulled a gun on unarmed black teenagers at a pool party last year in a viral video that led to his resignation.
     A Collin County grand jury "no billed" former McKinney police officer Eric Casebolt, police officials confirmed.
     The predominantly white and affluent suburb was thrust into the national debate on race and police after a seven-minute video was posted on YouTube a year ago. It shows Casebolt and 11 other officers responding to a call of fights and uninvited guests at a privately owned community swimming pool at the Craig Ranch master-planned community.
     Casebolt is seen wrestling Dajerria Becton, a 15-year-old black girl, to the ground. Several teenagers cry and scream while surrounding Casebolt, who unholsters his service weapon and appears to point it at the two black male teenagers closest to him, who run away.
     Casebolt then reholsters his gun and pins the screaming girl to the ground with his knees. She can be heard repeatedly asking for her mother.
     Casbolt resigned and apologized for his actions several days later, ending investigations by the police department and city manager. He blamed the stress of responding to two suicide calls earlier that day, and denied racism played a role.
     Several of the teenagers filed administrative complaints against Casebolt, accusing him of using excessive force.
     McKinney police say the incident was later referred to the Texas Rangers for further investigation.
     "The Rangers concluded their investigation and presented it to the Collin County District Attorney's Office," public information officer Sabrina Boston said Thursday. "On Thursday, June 23, the District Attorney's office presented the findings of the Rangers' investigation to a grand jury."
     The case was presented to the grand jury weeks after Becton and her attorney demanded movement in the case on the incident's one-year anniversary.
     "People still talk about it, they say rude things," Becton said at a news conference at police headquarters on June 7. "But I am doing really fine."
     Becton's attorney, Kim T. Cole of Dallas, said Casebolt "must be held accountable to send a message that this is not acceptable."
     However, the grand jury on Thursday decided not to bring charges against Casebolt, finding there was not enough evidence to prosecute him, according to local news reports.
     Caebolt's attorney, Tom Mills of Dallas, said Thursday his client wanted the case resolved before looking for work again.
     "He was relieved and glad that the Rangers had done the thorough investigation that they did," Mills told The Dallas Morning News.
     McKinney police plan to hold a community forum on Monday with community leaders to discuss moving forward from the incident.