Saturday, June 6, 2015

Racial Tension At McKinney Community Pool Party

Updated Thursday, June 11, 2015

A McKinney Texas police officer resigned three days after a mobile phone video was posted on YouTube showing him cursing, assaulting and threatening to shoot a group of black teenagers, who live in the predominately white northern section of the massive Craig Ranch subdivision of McKinney. The teens were attending an end of school year pool party at the Craig Ranch community pool.

The Craig Ranch subdivision in the City of McKinney has a neighborhood park, and a gated pool and clubhouse for residents. The pool and clubhouse area is gated and a scan card is needed to gain access. Scan cards are issued to all Craig Ranch residents.

The subdivision has a Homeowners Association (HOA) which regulates and controls the activities in/around the HOA swimming pool and clubhouse, and has rules for use thereof.

Residents of Craig Ranch are permitted to host parties with a maximum of 20 invited guests in the pool and clubhouse areas. Recreation areas remain open to all residents, so it may be difficult to distinguish party groups from other residents using those facilities.

The day of the incident was the last day of school. Reports indicate a number of young teen residents of Craig Ranch knew about the pool party by reading their friend's tweets and went to pool, even though they were not specifically invited guests of the pool party host.

Some residents complain, the teens who congregated at the community pool didn't belong there, suggesting they were not residents. But those making that complaint can not factually substantiate their allegation. No one asked the teens their address to know whether their parents are or are not Craig Ranch residents. Most of the teens in the pool area entered with either a resident access scan card or a guest invitation. Without question they belonged there. There are reports a few teens jumped over the pool area fence. Those teens broke a HOA rule by jumping the fence - imagine, a teenager broke a rule. Even so, that is not proof they weren't community residents who just didn't take time to go home for their scan card.

The only evidence anyone has offered to date that non-residents - who didn't belong - crashed the pool area is that a noticeable percentage of teens did not have white skin. The only significant disturbance anyone can specifically reference was allegedly instigated by white adult residents who verbally and physically assaulted a very young black teen resident and her white friend, Grace Stone, who came to her defense. (picture right)

Some who saw that disturbance blame the teens - because what two responsible adults would attack two teenage girls. And if two teenagers, one African-American, are seen assaulting white adults, and a few other teens are seen jumping the fence into the pool area, and there are a noticeable number of black teens around, who obviously don't belong because black people don't (or shouldn't be allowed to) live here, then the teen crowd is out of control rowdy - CALL 911!

911 calls to police reported "a disturbance involving multiple juveniles at the location, who do not live in the area or have permission to be there, refusing to leave." Who made at least some of those 911 calls?

In multiple media interviews, Sean Toon, 33, promoted himself as a witness who is able to provide a clear, firsthand picture of the “chaos” unfolding at the pool on Friday night. “Watching 30 seconds or seven minutes of a clip, it doesn’t tell the whole story,” Toon told his local ABC affiliate WFAA. “I think [Casebolt] did what he thought he had to do to control the situation.”

Toon was also interviewed, using only his first name, by Fox News’ Megyn Kelly and explained why he called the cops. A section of the interview was replayed on Tuesday morning’s Fox & Friends, with Toon’s version of events promoted by the Fox anchors as providing a fuller picture than the seven-minute YouTube video.

What Toon has failed to mention, though, is that he was part of a group of adults that, according to teens at the pool party, initially made racist comments to the mostly black youths, sparking a violent fight.

“I’m 100% sure that he said, ‘You should go back to the Section 8 [public] housing where you’re from because you don’t belong in our neighborhood,’” Grace Stone, a 14-year-old white McKinney resident who defended her black friends, told BuzzFeed News. “That’s when I went off. I called him an asshole. He had no right to say that. You shouldn’t be that hateful. That’s when [one of Toon’s female acquaintances] came up to me and said, ‘You don’t talk to adults like that.’ She was saying I needed to do something with my life and find a nice path for myself.”

Barber Toon acknowledged to BuzzFeed News the women she had been with at the pool were involved in the fight. After calling the police to complain of teens jumping the pool fence, she took her children home before the incident, leaving her husband with the two women.

Tatyana Rhodes, a Craig Ranch resident who organized the party, echoed Stone’s version of events. “This lady was saying racial slurs to some friends who came to the cookout,” Rhodes said in a YouTube interview with photographer Elroy Johnson. “She was saying things such as ‘black f**cker’ and, ‘That’s why you live in Section 8 homes.’”

“There was also a male that was saying rude things,” she said. Emmanuel Obi, the lawyer now representing Rhodes, refused to allow BuzzFeed News to speak with his client to identify those she said made the racist comments.

The verbal confrontation soon became physical and a fight broke out between Rhodes and Toon’s two acquaintances, one of whom is a McKinney resident. Cell phone footage of the fight doesn’t show who became physical first, but Rhodes has alleged she was slapped by one of the women.

The Toons and others called police reporting a disturbance involving multiple juveniles at the location, who do not live in the area or have permission to be there, refusing to leave.  McKinney Police received several calls related to this incident advising that juveniles were actively fighting.

When McKinney Police Officers arrived at the pool area they saw no one engaged in a active fight, but they they did have in mind the 911 call reports from the Toons and others that -- black juveniles who did not belong in the community were trespassing on private property, refuse requests to leave, and are actively fighting.

Accepting that version of events, which we now know is untrue, Officer Casebolt, the senior officer on site who did not take the time assess the veracity of the 911 call disturbance reports, ordered black teens, who have a right to be at the pool because they live in the community, to leave the pool. Those African American teens had just been told they did not belong at pool with racial slurs by white residents who then made the 911 calls.

On arrival, the senior police officer also tells the black teens they don't belong by telling them to leave the area. Can anyone blame these middle class black teens for being a little confused at the hostility directed at them, little angry at the disrespect from adults, including officer Casebolt, and a bit reluctant to accept being told by the officers they didn't belong and must leave the neighborhood where they live? Grace Stone, Tatyana's friend who had defended her against the friends of Sean Toon and his wife, was handcuffed by police for around 30 minutes after trying to give her version of events to the officers. Grace said she was the only white person detained.

From Saturday through mid-day Monday the mainstream media constantly replayed the video of officer Casebolt rough-handling the young teen girl, but repeated the angry out of control trespassing black teens stormed the community pool story told by the Toons, and other white residents. Because the main stream media got the story wrong, falsely portraying the black teens as invading troublemakers, the teens used social media - YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook, to force the true facts into mainstream media reporting.
Craig Ranch teenagers of all racial backgrounds behaved more like the mature responsible adults in this situation. The teens came together to celebrate their friendship at the end of another school year. The teens rejected old segregationist hate rhetoric of a few community residents and racial profiling by the senior responding McKinney police officer.

Timeline of events and reports

Saturday, June 6, 2015, 5:50 PM

A McKinney, Texas police officer has been suspended after a video emerged showing him cursing, assaulting and threatening to shoot a group of black teenagers who were attending a pool party in a predominately white northern section of the massive Craig Ranch subdivision of McKinney. The incident, captured on cell phone video and uploaded to YouTube, has stirred controversy across the North Texas Dallas Fort Worth region.

McKinney, Texas police responded to a “disturbance” call early Friday evening at the majority white, Craig Ranch North community. The call about a “disturbance” was reportedly a “fight” between a white resident, who allegedly made racially charged remarks about the pool party attendees, and a white teenage girl who objected to her comments. Officers responding to the call reportedly said the teens were “refusing to leave” and disobeyed their orders.

Although several white people appear in the video, none are seen to be questioned, detained or told to disperse by the officers. The video shows officers, many using profanities, seemingly only targeting black teenagers who were at the pool.

Officers reportedly began to detain party-goers who refused their orders to leave. Officers chased and handcuffed several who were reportedly uninvolved in the original “disturbance” incident reported in the call to police.

A officer was shown throwing a 14-year-old girl to the ground and pushing her head to the ground. Wearing a bikini, at one point, she sat in the grass and repeatedly called out for her mother. The video shows several teenagers sitting on the grass with their hands cuffed behind their backs while the officer pushed the girl to the ground.

That officer then pointed his gun at two unarmed black teens after they attempted to come to her aid. After two other patrolmen intervened, the officer sat on top the girl and pinned her face down to the ground. She is heard crying for help in the video.

Nine police squad cars were dispatched to the Craig Ranch community pool in response to the “disturbance” call. Officers chased and handcuffed several others, who were reportedly uninvolved in the incident.

Updated Sunday, June 7, 2015 at 5:04 p.m. - More info at Huffington Post

Video at right - 19 year old Tatiana speaks about what started the fight between her and another lady. The event Tatiana describes sparked the police “disturbance” call early Friday evening.

19-year-old Tatiana Rhodes was one of the organizers of the pool party in McKinney, Texas that ended with police being called. Rhodes said most of her classmates who attended the party live in the up scale Craig Ranch subdivision — which sits along a golf course. Tatiana explains that during the cook out, a white woman approached some of the attendees with hostile language. "This lady was saying racial slurs to some friends that came to the cook out...she was saying things such as 'You black f****rs' and 'That's why you live in Section 8 homes.'
The adults cursed at the party attendees, telling them to “return to their Section 8 housing” and yelling racial slurs at the children. One of the adults focused her verbal assault on a young white girl, apparently for associating with black people. “So then they started verbally abusing her, saying that she needs to do better for herself, cursing at her, and I’m saying, no that’s wrong; she’s 14, you should not say things like that to a 14-year-old,” said Rhodes, host of the the pool party. The adult then initiated the physical assault by slapping the young teen, provoking a brief fight. Brandon Brooks, the 15-year-old boy who video recorded police response to teens at the party, corroborates Rhodes story.
Tatiana lives in the neighborhood where the party took place. During this exchange, she says another woman, also white, named Kate struck her in the head and both women attacked her. The police were soon called, and the result was an embarrassment to the McKinney PD.

Tatiana's mother, who was present at the time, said, "I'm just upset that we couldn't have a peaceful event, and if there were any issues that they truly had they should have come to me...and let me handle it."

Statement from Brian Loughmiller, Mayor of McKinney On June 8, 2015 -

McKinney Police Chief Greg Conley holds a press conference on June 7, 2015 -

More published Monday June 8 at Raw Story.

Additional information: One or more parent(s) sponsored a HOA approved pool party. The parents notified the HOA, submitted all the required documentation, and the HOA in turn notified (or should have notified) all community residents. Parents were present at the pool parties. Also, a few black teen boys apparently tried to jump the fence into the pool area, but they weren't among the pool party guests invited by Rhodes. Apparently, some assumed the black teens who jumped the fence were associated with the pool party based on skin color. But they and their parents are also reportedly residents of Craig Ranch.

Kos - McKinney Pool Fight started by White Neighbors who racially slurred attacked Black Kids: Considering how and why they were called to the scene, this tableau becomes a perfect example of police becoming the enforcement arm of white privilege and presumption.

15-Year-Old Who Shot McKinney Pool Party Video Speaks Out: Brandon Brooks, the 15-year-old boy who shot the McKinney pool party video that’s being broadcast around the world, is telling his side of the story to NewsFix.

Video of a Craig Ranch teen filling in more details about seeming biased adult actions against black Craig Ranch resident teens at the community pool on Friday - Huffington Post.

Father on Police Officer Who Recklessly Attacked Daughter: Two Fathers, whose children attended at pool party talk about the incident.

Ex-McKinney cop: Police force has a race problem and they need to ‘get it under control’ - Raw Story

Monday night in McKinney thousands protest brutal police treatment of black teens in McKinney, Texas. Civil rights activist DeRay Mckesson was there and documented the protest on Twitter and Vine.

UPDATE Tuesday, June 9, 2015 — Eric Casebolt, the McKinney police officer whose actions at a pool party disturbance last Friday went viral in a YouTube video, has resigned from the force after a meeting with the department's internal affairs unit to review possible charges he could face.

UPDATE Wednesday, June 10, 2015

BuzzFeed article fills in more details of actors who precipitated 911 calls.

Fox News Is Unraveling As Their “Objective Witness” To McKinney Pool Party Is A Convicted Felon - PoliticusUSA

No comments:

Post a Comment