Finally, the cops are fighting back against the criminal blight that is teen girls in two-piece bathing suits at pool parties. Seriously, it's a good thing Eric Casebolt, a McKinney Police Department officer, used both of his knees on the back and head of a teen girl, employing his entire body weight to hold her down, otherwise she totally would've overpowered him with her mighty 105 pound frame.
Over the weekend, in the Texas suburb of Craig Ranch, roughly 40 miles outside Dallas, a resident or residents of a predominantly white neighborhood contacted the local police when they observed African-American kids attending a pool party at the Craig Ranch North Community Pool.
One officer responding to the call, Casebolt, completely lost his composure and not only handcuffed several other young boys who didn't appear to be violating any laws, but the officer also drew his firearm in a crowd of teen girls, then tackled one girl to the ground and pinned her down using his full body weight -- seconds after complaining that his gear alone weighed 30 pounds. At around the same time, a handcuffed teenage boy was escorted to the scene by two other officers. The boy appeared to be bleeding from the mouth.
The video of the incident, illustrating yet another horrendous example of ludicrously excessive force against unarmed blacks, has gone viral and was published by online news outlets around the world. Incidentally, the cops didn't seem to care that one boy was shooting video of the fracas -- possibly because the boy, Brandon Brooks, was white. Brooks told Gawker, "[The cop] didn’t even look at me. It was kind of like I was invisible."
No one was shot, and no one was killed this time, but this video stands among the most shocking in recent spate of excessive force incidents caught on video. The overreaction by Casebolt was so amazingly over-the-top that he clearly felt as though he was faced with a threat significant enough to warrant such a brutal and aggressive reaction against a group of unarmed, non-threatening teen girls -- who, by the way, were all wearing nothing but two-piece bathing suits.
Ten units responded to the complaint calls. Ten. But while one or two of the officers appeared to be reasonable and even-keeled, it was Casebolt who went ballistic -- strutting around, eyes bugging out of his head, shouting obscenities and generally acting Napoleonic toward a group of children. Even if the kids were mouthing off, and some of them were, there was no excuse whatsoever to handle the situation as if it was a full-blown riot or worse, and that's exactly how Casebolt and several of his McKinney PD colleagues behaved. They acted as though they were engaged in combat against a violent insurgency, rather than appropriately handling the crystal clear circumstances -- calmly, professionally and methodically.
Presented in context with all of the other videos we've seen over the past year or two, one thing ought to be abundantly clear by now: this is a systemic problem. Which is terrifying. But it's obvious that cops are being trained or instructed to behave like this, as if their careers are on the line if they don't handle these calls with zeal and violence, especially against minorities. Handling a complaint about a pool party? Abuse young girls and handcuff innocent bystanders. Stop a guy in traffic for a busted brake light? Shoot him in the back.
If there isn't a nationwide investigation of police training and standards, there ought to be now, more than ever.
Gratefully, Casebolt was suspended, though, as of this writing, it's unclear whether any other officers have been as well. But I wonder whether there will be any accountability for the neighbors who made the initial complaints -- clearly jumping to the conclusion that black means crime, and a group of blacks means a series of crimes. Going one step further, I'd suggest that the hype and backstopping on behalf of the conservative entertainment complex has emboldened both cops and citizens to treat African-Americans as a hostile enemy loyal to Evil President Obama -- you know, with their Obama Phones and entitled "taker" handouts.
The next steps are predictable. For the next week, conservatives on television, radio and the internet will find a way to condemn the teens and to publicly exonerate the cops, especially Casebolt. Breitbart has already published an article featuring video of a few girls at the party fighting with each other, as though the spat excuses the excessive force. It's also worth noting that the girls in the Breitbart videos weren't cuffed or abused. And, by the way, Breitbart didn't post the damning video of the cops. The first few words of the article are "Left media is ablaze..."
Speaking of which, what the hell kind of nation do we live in where excessive use of force and molestation are treated along partisan lines? Whether it's McKinney or Baltimore or Ferguson, or if it's a TV family who perpetrated and covered up serial sexual abuse against sleeping children, why is it that we can't we all agree that these incidents are egregious? The outrage ought to be universal.
But, weirdly, the conservative side of aisle has, for reasons defying logic, lined up in defense of a child molester as well as the people who tried to cover up his crimes. They've also repeatedly lined up in support of cops who've, in so many cases, overstepped their mandates, resulting in a series of corpses. Come to think of it, they've also rallied in support of a man, Cliven Bundy, whose impromptu militia marched in a line of battle against federal agents while a gunman in a sniper's perch aimed his weapon and the agents' heads. How far off the rails have we careened as a nation when this brand of awfulness isn't condemned by both Republicans and Democrats -- liberals and conservatives? It's times like these when my hope for our future as a nation drops a few notches -- as does my hope for our ability to unify as we so often have in the not-too-distant past. I wonder if it's impossible. Today, I think it is.
UPDATE:According to Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs, Casebolt's YouTube account was filled with videos of excessive force, some of which were racist. Casebolt deleted the videos late Sunday night.