Chicago, Jun 10: A Texas cop filmed pulling a gun at a pool party attended mainly by black teens acted out of stress rather than racism, his lawyer said today. Corporal Eric Casebolt's lawyer said he resigned from the McKinney police force yesterday in hopes of easing tensions after the video went viral.
The case came at a time of heightened racial tensions, following a series of incidents involving questionable use of sometimes lethal police force in black communities across the United States. The footage -- which has been seen 11 million times on YouTube -- shows Casebolt, who is white, pinning a bikini-clad black girl to the ground and placing his knees on her back in the incident in the Dallas suburb.
He is also seen pulling out his gun when two young black men approach the distraught girl, who was screaming for help and asking for someone to call her mother. "He was not targeting minorities," attorney Jane Bishkin said at a press conference.
"In fact, he also detained a white female who you do not see on the video." Casebolt "allowed his emotions to get the better of him" because he was still recovering emotionally from two harrying suicide calls earlier that day, she said. The first involved a man who had shot himself in front of his children and other families at an apartment pool.
Later that day, Casebolt helped to calm a teenager who was threatening to jump off her parents' roof. Casebolt, who has gone into hiding after receiving death threats, "never intended to mistreat anyone" and "apologizes to all who were offended," she added.
"It is his hope that by his resignation the community may start to heal." McKinney's police chief denounced Casebolt's "indefensible" actions as he announced the resignation yesterday, insisting they did not reflect the department's "high standard of action".