In the summer of 2015, Dajerria Becton, then 15, was a guest at a pool party in a Dallas suburb that went horribly wrong after police were called. In cell phone footage that soon went viral, McKinney Police officer Eric Casebolt is seen slamming the bikini-clad teen face-down into the ground, then resting his knee on her back as other children ran to get away.
“He grabbed me, twisted my arm on my back and shoved me in the grass and started pulling the back of my braids,” Becton said in an interview. “I was telling him to get off me because my back was hurting bad.”
12 officers were called to the party at the private community pool. Video shows Casebolt with his gun drawn, yelling at black teens to lay face down in the grass. White teens were told by Casebolt to disperse.
Eric Casebolt was placed on administrative leave after the incident and was eventually fired. Unfortunately for him, that is only the tip of the iceberg.
Dajerria Becton’s family says the former police officer violated the teen’s constitutional rights by using excessive force and holding her without probable cause. They also blame the city for Becton’s injuries, claiming they did not properly train Casebolt. For that reason, Becton and her family are suing Casebolt and the City of McKinney for $5 million in damages which include mental anguish, loss of quality of life and attorney’s fees, plus interest. Dajerria Becton’s family also requested that all McKinney police officers be trained in use of excessive force, racial sensitivity and handling of juveniles.
The City of McKinney released a statement disputing Becton’s claims against their police force.
“The City of McKinney denies the claims alleged against it and the McKinney Police Department, and as such, will vigorously defend the recently filed lawsuit,” the statement reads. “McKinney prides itself in cultivating the highest standards of training and professionalism for our officers, and it strongly believes that its standards and training will withstand legal challenge.”
Watch the video below, in case you forgot what happened. Do you believe Dajerria deserves to get paid?