When I first saw the brutal treatment of Dajerria Becton at the hands and knees of now-former McKinney, TX, policeman Eric Casebolt, my stomach turned. It was revolting, and was to all but the callous.
If the only thing different about that scene was replacing Casebolt with a large black security guard the entire conversation would be about Black-on-Black violence. If it had been a Black cop and a White girl, the same people defending Casebolt would be on the attack. But because Casebolt is White, the conversation is not about what it should be, overzealous policing and violence, but about “police just doing their jobs.”
Except that Casebolt wasn’t just doing his job. He abused his authority.
At the outset it should be clear there were 11 other officers on the same scene as Eric Casebolt. By all accounts, by the chief’s evaluation, and by video evidence, only Casebolt behaved unprofessionally, rudely, and “indefensibly.”
We may never know everything that took place around the 7+ minute “McKinney Pool Party” video shot by teenager Brandon Brooks. For the sake of time and space, I will stipulate that a party was thrown at an HOA pool and a bunch of teenagers (many of them Black) attended. I will further stipulate some teens may have jumped the fence because the “guest limit” had been exceeded. And, for the sake of argument, I will stipulate an unknown and unknowable number of them were not abiding by the rules, and some of that number ran from the police when they arrived.
It was this running that angered Casebolt, causing a series of “indefensible” actions, to use the language of the police chief. Casebolt as much as admits it on the video.
To this point there have been a lot of defenders for Casebolt’s “indefensible” actions. I hope that changes.
It is worth pointing out that Dajerria Becton, the girl assaulted by now-former McKinney, TX, policeman Eric Casebolt, has not been accused of jumping a fence, being at the pool illegally, causing any problems with the other attendees, or running from the police. Her attorney claims that Becton had been invited. Whether that was a personal invite from a resident is unknown. Frankly it does not matter. She certainly did nothing to warrant the abuse she received.
I had not intended to write on this event until I saw this meme being circulated on Facebook. It isn’t fair for this girl to be slandered, and as the father of two daughters I’m appalled at anyone who excuses this kind of abuse.
This transcript is, as much as I was able, word-for-word from minute 2:00 to the end of the the 7+ minute video shot at the “McKinney Pool Party” in McKinney, TX. I chose to spell out all curse words rather than using dashes for some of the letters. If that bothers you, please stop reading now.
I used “camera operator” in reference to Brandon Brooks to try and limit the use of names, and provide a point of reference for some of the movement.
2:00 – unidentified male, “Officer, I can’t find my bag.”
2:01 – Eric Casebolt, pointing with what looks like a police flashlight, “I don’t care.”
2:06- Camera operator, “Yo, Richard, what color was it?”
2:08 – Male (Richard), “It’s navy blue.”
2:09 – Camera operator, “I know where it is.”
Camera pans left nearly 360 degrees.
2:11 – Casebolt, first off camera, then on. Speaking directly to 2-3 young black boys, “I walked off, then you got up and took off. That’s evading. Right now you are staying. Y’all make me fucking run around here with 30 pounds of goddamned gear on in the sun? Because you want to screw around out here?”
A group of about 5-6 girls, including Dajerria Bection, 15, have been standing on the sidewalk about 20 feet to Casebolt’s left through this entire exchange. Through Casebolt’s entire dressing down of the three boys, no distinguishable conversation from the group is heard on the audio.
2:25 – Casebolt, pointing at girls with flashlight “Y’all keep standing there running your mouths. [Pointing down the sidewalk.] Get outta here! I told you to leave.
2:29 – unidentified female, “I need to get my glasses.”
2:30 – Casebolt, “I don’t care.”
2:31-2:33 – indistinguishable female speaking
2:34 – Casebolt, “You’re leaving now!”
2:35 – unidentified female, not Becton, [sounds like] “I don’t have to.”
2:36 – Casebolt, “Your’re leaving now!”
During those two seconds Dejairrea Becton has already begun walking down the sidewalk in the direction Casebolt first indicated (screen right). Two other girls have also begun walking down the sidewalk. Two or three remain in their original location.
2:38 – Casebolt, now pointing with left hand in a different direction, across the street, “LEAVE!”
2:42 – Casebolt, pointing with his left hand, across the street, “THAT WAY!”
2:42 – Becton, still moving in the other direction, now 20-25 feet away, yells over her shoulder what sounds like, “Don’t talk shit!” She’s obviously trying to get the other girls to stop their verbal altercation with Casebolt.
[If Casebolt heard this comment from Becton at all, there is absolutely no indication of it on the video or audio. He does not look her way, does not point in her direction, does not turn his head. All video evidence indicates he did not hear the remark at all, so he could not have been responding to it. This is a crucial point because Casebolt’s defenders, including the creator of the slanderous meme above, claimed Becton has been mouthing off at him. This is a falsehood.]
At this point, the remaining three girls begin to cross the street to Casebolt’s left. Becton and one other girl are at least 15-20 feet away from him continuing in the same direction he originally indicated.
2:45 – Casebolt, as remaining three girls stalk away, “Get your ass gone!”
2:47 – one or more of the girls speak indistinguishably to Casebolt, continuing to walk away in the second direction, across the street.
2:49 – Casebolt, again pointing toward this group of girls with flashlight, “Keep running your mouth…”
2:50 – Casebolt turns right, sees Becton (who has never stopped moving in the direction he originally pointed), points directly at her, “YOU!” then begins walking quickly her way in an offensive posture.
Becton is on the sidewalk in the same general area. She is neither looking at Casebolt, nor talking to him. Her back is turned and she is walking in the direction he initially pointed.
2:53 – A female voice says something like, “I want my momma. Call my momma.” It is not clear who said this. If it was Becton she was talking to a young man beside her, not to Casebolt nor in his direction.
2:54 – Casebolt is now at the area where Becton is.
2:55 – Camera angle drops, only the lower legs of multiple people in the area of Becton and Casebolt are visible several yards from the camera operator.
There are no distinguishable voices, male or female, from the area where Becton is standing with others when approached by Casebolt.
2:56 – camera operator, “Yo, Jumper. What the fuck is going on?”
Camera angle begins to rise to see Casebolt pulling Becton (who is either on the grass or the edge of the sidewalk) from the group back toward and up the sidewalk toward the camera operator.
2:58 – Casebolt and Becton emerge from the group. He has clear control of Becton.
3:00 – Beckton begins to spin while in the grasp of Casebolt. It is unclear whether he is spinning her on purpose, or whether she spinning on her own.
3:05 – Casebolt throws Becton to the ground, upper half of her body onto the sidewalk, legs on the grass.
Male and female voices begin to rise in alarm. All the girls who had previously dispersed come running back into the picture. The two males upon whom Casebolt eventually draws his gun are visible beside a small group of trees to the right.
3:07 – Casebolt pulls Becton’s hair, while trying to force her head to the ground.
3:08 – Casebolt throws a left jab at the closest onrushing girl, pushing her back. The two aforementioned males, and a third who earlier walked down the sidewalk with Becton, are very, very agitated, yelling, moving back and forth, and side to side.
3:09 – Casebolt continues to push Beckton’s head toward the sidewalk. Unidentified White male in tan shirt who is in and out of the entire video, enters scene pushing girls back physically. Black male in blue hat and tan shorts, and Black male in tank top and white shorts begin moving around left on screen toward Casebolt’s right. He does not see them at first.
3:10 – All yelling continues, Casebolt slaps Beckton, who is still seated on the edge of the sidewalk, on the back. Both males continue to advance indirectly.
3:11 – Casebolt appears to see both males for the first time. As soon as the two males realize Casebolt has seen them, they back away quickly. Casebolt begins to straighten, looks back at Beckton as he reaches for his holster.
3:12 – Casebolt turns fully away from Beckton, facing the two males, they continue moving away. Hand is on gun, not holster.
3:13 – After two pulls gun comes free, males are already running away.
3:13-3:15 – Casebolt has gun completely free, continues to advance toward the two males who run off quickly. Two other officers enter the screen from behind the camera operator. Both appear initially to try and stop Casebolt. He gives orders to both of them (it seems).
3:16 – One officer bolts after the two males. Casebolt, with weapon still drawn, points after them. The other officer moves left, but does not run.
[At this point it is worth noting neither of the males made a move like he was going for a gun. If you focus only on them in the video, the male with the tan shorts has pulled them up 2-3 times before being immediately beside Casebolt. It was this repeated pulling up of his shorts that some has erroneously claimed as “made a move like he was going for a gun.” Casebolt could not have know all this, but viewers of the video should have.]
At this point, the camera pans to pick up Becton, seated on the ground making no effort to move anywhere. She appears to be trying to get the third officer’s attention. Yelling continues from multiple sources.
3:17-3:18 – Becton, “He pulled my hair!” She is still seated. Casebolt grabs her left forearm in his left hand.
3:19 – Casebolt, weapon still in hand, points finger at Becton, “Get your ass on the ground!”
[Never mind it was already on the ground as it had been for several seconds already. Apparently Casebolt failed Anatomy 101. At no point when Casebolt was engaged with the two males and two other officers did Becton make any attempt to run away or interfere.]
3:20-3:26 – As Becton slaps her hands together and screams, “I want my momma!” Casebolt only then holsters his pistol, grabs Becton again, pulls her up from the ground spins her around to his left, pushes her toward the ground with force, yelling, “On your face!”
3:27-3:31 – Casebolt pulls Becton up by the arm, then pushes her face first into the grass again.
3:32-3:40 – Casebolt holds Becton’s head to the ground and appears to talk into his radio. His words are unclear. Much yelling and screaming from bystanders. All original girls are back on the sidewalk.
3:40-3:44 – Casebolt repositions his body, drags a prone Becton approximately two feet across the grass.
3:47 – Casebolt turns Becton’s head fully face down, putting one hand behind her.
3:49-3:50 – While Becton is fully prone, fully under Casebolt’s control, and not moving at all, he lifts his right leg and drops his knee it into the small of her back.
A female voice is heard above the crowd, “What are you doing??”
3:51 – While continuing with both knees on her back and neck (or head), Casebolt points at the crowd and begins talking loudly, though not yelling. Becton is heard crying with her face in the grass.
3:53 – Casebolt [what sounds like], “Y’all fueled it. Hey! Y’all fueled it. Okay? If you’d chill out <unintelligible>. “
[Casebolt is clearly using Becton for an object lesson at this point.]
Following are many male and female voices, none clearly distinguishable.
4:00 – A male voice, perhaps camera operator, says, “Yo this is fucking crazy. She didn’t do shit. He’s fucking abusing her. He pulled his gun on her.”
4:05 – Casebolt clearly hears this, looks directly at the camera, pointing, and says, “No, I didn’t, and get your butts outta here.”
[Casebolt is covering himself. He did not initially pull his gun on Becton, but he kept it in hand for several seconds when dealing with her.]
Casebolt continues with knee in Becton’s lower back, never moving it.
4:10 – unidentified male voice, “He pulled out his gun on her!”
As people mill around and walk up and down the sidewalk, loud talking continues.
4:22 – Casebolt points offscreen left, “GET OUTTA HERE OR YOUR GOING, TOO!”
Various adults and all the original girls continue to mill around within 5 feet of Casebolt who continues to pin Becton facedown with his knee in her back.
4:45 – Becton is heard complaining that she can’t breathe.
4:46 – Casebolt, “Then stop fighting!”
4:47 – Becton, “I’m not fighting!”
[For the record, she never was. There is no video evidence of any kind, let alone proof, that Becton put up any kind of resistance to “arrest” before, during or after Casebolt’s assault on her.]
5:05 – Casebolt again pushes the still prone Becton’s head to the ground.
5:10 – Casebolt to Becton, “You’re going to jail, if you don’t knock it off!”
[At this point Becton has been facedown in the grass, hands behind her, with Casebolt’s knee in her back for at least 20 seconds. She has put up no resistance, not attempted to roll, bite, kick or in any way move, other than lifting her head to breathe. She has called him no names, only cried out for her mother, never directed any verbal abuse or challenge to authority at Casebolt.]
5:22 – After 30+ seconds, Casebolt moves his knee off Becton’s back, keeping his hand on her back. Misc yelling continues. Casebolt continues to look around, breathing heavily.
5:36 – Casebolt continues to hold Becton down with one hand while she continuously cries.
5:53 – The other two officers return with one of the two males who ran away. He is already cuffed, and placed on the grass.
5:57 – male voice, “Adrian, you good, bro?”
6:03 – Casebolt, pointing at one of the original girls who had returned, “I’m gonna tell you one more time, get your ass outta here!” again pointing across the street, still holding Becton to the ground.
6:06 – Casebolt, pointing repeatedly, “Y’all get across the street.”
6:10 – Casebolt stands, and steps toward the sidewalk, continuing to point and yell at people to get across the street. He also threatens unseen people “that you’re going, too!” [to jail]
6:15 – Camera changes focus to Adrian, on the ground beyond Becton who still has not attempted to rise. He looks to be spitting out blood.
6:25 – Officer enters scene beside Casebolt, cuffing Becton.
6:28 – Male voice, “This is my cousin! Those are my cousins!”
Video plays out with Casebolt addressing to Black kids on the ground, and a quick pan back to Becton who is now sitting upright.
At this point there will still be some who say, “Yeah, but we don’t know what she said to him during those few seconds after he walked over to her. Maybe she cursed at him.”
So? And? Maybe she did. What if she called his mother “old White trash”? What if she said, “You are worst cop I’ve ever seen”? What if she said, “Why are you being so mean? I think you’re just compensating.”
It. Does. Not. Matter.
There is nothing Dajerria Becton could have said or done in those very few seconds to warrant the physical assault perpetrated on her by Eric Casebolt.
But, back to the meme. What, exactly, wouldn’t their daughter have done?
Wouldn’t have gone to a party?
Wouldn’t have done exactly what a law officer told her to do?
Wouldn’t have encouraged her friends to stop running their mouths?
Wouldn’t have cried out for help when being assaulted?
Wouldn’t have laid compliantly on the ground while a 40-year old man with a gun repeatedly pushed, pulled, kneed, and pressed down on her?
Wouldn’t have complained about having her hair pulled?
Wouldn’t have from beginning-to-end done nothing wrong?
There is no video or audio evidence that Dejarria Becton did anything wrong. She shouldn’t be slandered for the violent actions of a thuggish cop.