Video of officers breaking up pool party in Texas sparks outrage

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Dallas, TX – The outrage was immediate. After a video surfaced of a chaotic confrontation between teens and police at a community pool in Texas, calls for the officer’s dismissal were swift and loud.

The police officer is on administrative leave after the YouTube video showing the incident Friday in the Dallas suburb of McKinney.

As the outcry continues, a lot of unanswered questions remain.

Were the teens from the neighborhood? Does the pool have security cameras showing the entire incident? Who is the officer? Has he had any previous discipline problems?

Calls about ‘fighting’ teens

The McKinney Police Department said officers went to the pool because they got calls about unruly teenagers.

“The initial call came in as a disturbance involving multiple juveniles at the location — who do not live in the area or have permission to be there — refusing to leave,” it said.

“McKinney Police received several additional calls related to this incident advising that juveniles were now actively fighting.”

The video

The approximately seven-minute video shows officers trying to gain control of a group of teenagers at the pool.

A few minutes into the video, an officer throws a 14-year-old girl wearing a bikini to the ground and shoves her head down.

Two teenage boys approach; the officer pulls out his gun and chases them away. He then grabs the girl’s arm as he re-holsters his gun.

“Call my mama, oh God!” she shouts.

“On your face!” he orders and slams her face-first into the grass. The officer places both of his knees on her back as she cries.

“Is it just me or did he look like he enjoyed kneeling on top of her a little too much?,” Elizabeth Millaine Nations posted on the Police Department’s Facebook page. “She was in a bikini for Christ’s sake.”

But David Wagner said the officer’s action was justified.

“Outside of being a little rough with the girl, I think the officer responded correctly,” he posted on the page. “He was vastly outnumbered and the crowd was hostile. They could have overrun him and taken away his weapon. By drawing his weapon he was able to get the crowd to retreat.”

Demands for an investigation

The McKinney Police Department said it is investigating after the video “raised concerns.”

It has not identified the officer placed on leave, but Chief Greg Conley said the girl was detained and released to her parents. Two officers with the McKinney Police Department are conducting an investigation, he said.

Twelve officers responded to the scene, but it’s not clear how many were there when the video was shot, Conley said.

The NAACP called for a thorough investigation and full accountability.

“The excessive force on an unarmed 14-year-old girl clad only in a bikini by an officer wearing a uniform and a gun was particularly troubling,” said Cornell William Brooks, president of the NAACP. “These teens appeared to be simply attending a pool party and deserved respectful treatment under the law.

‘Clearly not armed’

CNN law enforcement analyst and former FBI assistant director Tom Fuentes criticized the officer who wrestled the girl.

The officer appeared to be “running around escalating” a situation that should have quickly calmed, he said. There appeared to be “no justification” for the way the juveniles, particularly the girl, were treated, he said.

She was wearing a bikini, “clearly not armed,” he said.

Teens ‘not compliant whatsoever’

CNN law enforcement analyst Cedric Alexander cautioned that one video doesn’t tell an entire story. He said officers were likely dealing with a lot of teenagers running around and not obeying basic orders to disperse.

“I thought the kids were not compliant whatsoever,” said Alexander, who is the public safety director of DeKalb County, Georgia.

“That in itself is a problem. Those kids attempted to over-talk the police.”

Alexander said he would not “demonize” or second-guess the McKinney officers based on the video.

However, he said, the officer who wrestled the girl to the ground could have controlled his temper.

“They are teenagers and we are the professionals,” he said. “You can’t allow emotions to get in the way.”

Expert: Taking out gun justified

CNN legal analyst and attorney Paul Callan said more must be learned about exactly what police were told in calls.

“The nature of the police response should be proportionate and appropriate to the perceived threat,” he said.

But the officer taking out his gun might be justified, Callan said, because he could have reasonably assumed the young men who approached him to be a real threat.

But when the teenagers scattered and ran, the police went to an “inappropriate Texas roundup of all fleeing juveniles,” Callan said.

He said the teens’ panic appears to be a result of overreaction because of the officer’s aggressive demeanor.

And the girl’s treatment, he said, appears to be punishment for her attitude rather than any particular crime.

4 comments

  • Stupidity abounds!

    Wow, how stupid can this get? When the officer shows up all is normal. His actions then agitate a situation. If there are more people than an officer can handle he needs to call in back up not “wild west” it and start pointing a loaded gun at a bunch of unarmed teens in bathing suits. What’s worse is his supervisors making excuses for this stupidity.

  • Body cams needed!!!

    Sure hope SDPD is forcing their officers to wear body cams to hold our officers accountable!

  • Harley sands

    Until I saw this video, I actually believed that the nationwide flurry of white cops over-reacting to blacks was warranted. Now, it is obvious that there is a total lack of training and self control on the part of the police. That a cop fears for his life from a bunch of 80 pound middle school children, to the extent of brandishing a sidearm during a “calming down activity” is prima face evidence that no training was ever given to these cops.

  • Doug Kaiser

    There are two sides to every story

    Michael Quattrin Facebook friends and family – PLEASE HELP! That (now viral) video of the officer in McKinney subduing a girl in a bathing suit was in OUR neighborhood. The situation was NOT what is being reported… A DJ setup in a public space next to the private pool in our neighborhood on Friday and played loud explicit (F-bomb) music for multiple hours (it is unclear if he was invited by a resident as no one has claimed responsibility). The teenagers (both black and white) were being brought into our neighborhood by the carload because the DJ was tweeting out invites to a “pool party” for $15 (obviously unauthorized by our neighborhood). The teens began fighting with each other and pushing their way into our private pool. Some were jumping our fence. The security guard was accosted when he tried to stop the beginnings of this mob scene. Some residents who live around the park/pool area tried to come out and settle things down. The teens started yelling racial slurs at our neighbors and started assaulting people and property (throwing bottles at cars and attacking a mother at the pool with 3 young children). The first officer on the scene was by himself. At that time, the party had grown to a large, aggressive crowd. As the officer arrived, many teens started running through our neighborhood. Many of the teens were being very aggressive and yelling at the officers as more arrived. This was a very dangerous situation for the officers AND the teens/residents not involved. The news media has refused to hear the neighborhood’s side of this story. The video being distributed is only a very small segment of what happened. This information being distributed by the media and others is extremely distorted and in some cases outright lies. PLEASE HELP US STOP THE BROADCASTING OF THIS IGNORANCE. The media is trying to make it look like our neighborhood is a white’s only, racist area. Anyone who has spent even a few minutes in our area knows this is an outright LIE. The unfortunate result is that our neighbors are now being threatened. We have also had cars and property in and around the park area vandalized this weekend. Unfortunately, the press and social media are trying to enflame the situation. I am asking for your help for my family and my neighbor’s safety…PLEASE, PLEASE do not rebroadcast any of these lies. This is what I read on the incident so I’m sharing

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