By Jon Herskovitz
AUSTIN, Texas, June 8 (Reuters) – A rally is planned for Monday in the Dallas-area city of McKinney calling for the firing of the police officer seen in a viral video throwing a bathing suit-clad teenage girl to the ground and pointing his pistol at other youths at a pool party.
The officer, McKinney Police Corporal Eric Casebolt, has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation of how he responded to a disturbance at a pool party on Friday in the city about 30 miles north of Dallas, an incident that has raised fresh questions about racial bias in U.S. policing.
Casebolt, a white officer, is seen in the video shouting obscenities at black youths in a multiracial crowd, placing a black youth in handcuffs, briefly pointing his gun at the youths and throwing a black teenage girl to the ground, burying his knees in her back to keep her prone.
“We are demanding that the officer be fired and be charged with assaulting the youth,” said Dominique Alexander, the president of the Next Generation Action Network, which is organizing the rally.
The seven-minute video, which has been viewed more than 4 million times on YouTube as of Monday morning, shows several officers responding to the incident, which police said started when a group of youths, who did not have permission to be at residential pool, refused to leave the area.
At the start of the video, one officer is speaking cordially with a group of teens, telling them, “Don’t take off running as soon as cops get here.”
Dajerria Becton, the girl who was thrown to the ground by Casebolt, told local broadcaster KDFW that the officer twisted her arm and grabbed her by the hair.
“Him getting fired isn’t enough,” she said.
Several people wrote on the McKinney Police Facebook page the youths antagonized police and that they should have obeyed when officers told them to stay put and keep quiet.
McKinney Mayor Brian Loughmiller said he expected police to act professionally and with proper restraint.
“Having seen the YouTube video, I am disturbed and concerned by the incident and actions depicted in the video,” Loughmiller said in a statement on Sunday.
McKinney has about 150,000 people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. African-Americans make up 10.5 percent of the population and whites about 75 percent. (Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Mohammad Zargha