McKinney Rally Draws Hundreds Of Marchers Protesting Police Brutality
Hundreds of people showed up last night in McKinney to protest the police. The mostly peaceful demonstration comes after a viral video taken at a pool party.
Footage captured a white police officer pushing a 15-year-old black girl to the ground and pulling out his gun at other teens.
The police department is investigating the actions of the officer, David Eric Casebolt, but the protesters want the officer fired.
The marchers yelled: “What do we want? Justice. When do we want? Now …”
They came from all over North Texas. Some even flew in for the march. They gathered in front of Comstock Elementary School to hear speakers address the crowd through a megaphone. Others held signs with messages like “All Lives Matter” and “White Privilege Blinds Racism.”
Lashavian Anthony is a barber in McKinney and he thinks what happened at Friday’s pool party goes beyond race.
“I know all of these kids,” he said. “Most of them are my clients. This is not a race issue. This is a compassion issue. This is the people versus the police. This is the people versus people that have power to do what they do.”
Bria Gambrell came from nearby Little Elm. She says the video of the police officer pinning down the teen struck a nerve with her.
“As a 19-year-old, I was once 14 and if a police ever manhandled me in the way that man manhandled her … whether he’s white, black, it doesn’t matter. He should not keep his job.”
But not everyone agreed. Some residents, like Laurie Anderson and her 11-year-old son, Alexandar, watched the protestors walk through their neighborhood.
“I think a sad situation has been completely taken out of context. Things got out of control and now it’s become this incredibly racial conflict that didn’t have to happen in the first place.”
Most of the marchers were black, but people of other racial and ethnic backgrounds also participated. Jennifer Moore is white and lives in McKinney in a nearby neighborhood.
“What I saw on that video is unacceptable no matter what. And I just would ask everyone to put yourself in those shoes and if that was your 14-year-old daughter being treated like that. What would you say?”
As the march wrapped up, a black man talked with a small group of white counter protestors. They said they had a good conversation about race and teens. And they say it’s a start toward a better understanding of each other.
The Associated Press reports: Hundreds of demonstrators have rallied outside a McKinney elementary school in protest of a white police officer's actions against a mostly black group of teens at a pool party.
Some who gathered in the Dallas suburb held signs Monday that included the phrases, "My skin color is not a crime," and, "Don't tread on our kids."
A few dozen addressed the crowd through a bullhorn, including Derrick Golden, a pastor from McKinney who met earlier with the city's police Chief Greg Conley. He said Conley "responded appropriately" after the officer was seen in a video pushing a 15-year-old girl to the ground and pointing his gun at other teens. The officer is on administrative leave.
But Golden said Officer David Eric Casebolt should be terminated because of the profanities he used and the fact that he brandished his gun.
The demonstrators marched a mile from the school to the Craig Ranch North Community Pool, where Friday's incident occurred.
About a dozen counterprotesters held signs supporting police.
KERA's Stella M. Chavez was at the protest outside the elementary school and sends along these videos:
Protesters in #McKinney chanting "Hands up, don't shoot." In front of Comstock Elem School @keranews pic.twitter.com/PmZEiwBugq— Stella M. Chávez (@stellamchavez) June 8, 2015
March has begun. Marchers chanting, "What do we want? Justice. When do we want it? Now." pic.twitter.com/SNZ67r4XLv— Stella M. Chávez (@stellamchavez) June 9, 2015
Meanwhile, a teenager who filmed Casebolt pulling a gun on teens says the officer "was out of line."
Brandon Brooks tells KDFW-TV, Fox 4, he was among the few white people at the pool party Friday.
He says his "heart did drop" after seeing the officer pull out a gun. He says he was afraid someone would get shot but knew he had to keep filming.
Brooks' video was posted online and went viral over the weekend.
"McKinney is supposed to be a top place to live." #mckinney protesters point out injustice, racism. @Keranews pic.twitter.com/ou40NZoRnM— Lauren Silverman (@lsilverwoman) June 9, 2015
...and #McKinney police on horses at protest. A reminder, yes, this is #Texas. @keranews pic.twitter.com/nyX4w4lLiE— Lauren Silverman (@lsilverwoman) June 9, 2015
PBS NewsHour coverage of the pool party video
Mayor: City will 'work together to bring resolution'
McKinney Mayor Brian Loughmiller issued a video statement Monday. He said: "McKinney citizens as a whole are good law-abiding citizens that are actively involved in our city. We will be inclusive and work together to bring resolution to this issue and move forward together." Watch the video below:
The Associated Press contributed to this report.