Megyn Kelly (Screen shot)

The 5 worst responses to the McKinney pool story

Megyn Kelly questions a teen's character, while one CNN analyst defends Eric Casebolt's decision to draw his gun


Michael Arria
June 10, 2015 8:31PM (UTC)
This article originally appeared on AlterNet.

AlterNet McKinney police officer Eric Casebolt was placed on leave this weekened after a video of him surfaced throwing Dajerria Becton, a teenage girl, to the ground and pulling out his gun while chasing a number of kids who had been swimming in a pool. To many people, the incident highlighted the now familiar themes of police brutality and racism but, to some, it didn't look like that at all. Here are 5 unfortunate reactions to the video.

1.) Megyn Kelly declares that teenage girl was "no saint":

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On Monday, Fox Host Megyn Kelly speculated that the incident maybe wasn't racial. "And now people have made this into a race thing. Are we there yet?" she asked her guests. Then she offered this: "The girl was no saint, either. He had told her to leave, and she continued to linger. When the cop tells you to leave, get out. I’m not defending his actions. Let me make that clear."

Kelly's assertion that Becton was "no saint" is consistent with criticisms of other black victims of police abuse after the fact. In a profile of Michael Brown, the Ferguson teen killed by Officer Darren Wilson, the New York Times referred to him as "no angel." This was the same qualifier that they used when writing about Al Capone.

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2. CNN legal analyst Paul Callan says the cop was right to pull his gun out:

Casebolt has been criticized by many for drawing his gun for no reason and pointing it at innocent kids. On Monday, Paul Callan declared that there was actually no problem with this. Callan told CNN host Alisyn Camerota that, "...un-holstering of the gun. The cop’s actions were totally inappropriate up until that moment, but he’s not effecting the arrest of the girl." Camerota couldn't believe what she was hearing but Callan continued, "He probably shouldn’t be arresting her but he is. He’s surrounded then by eight civilians, I count them. One kid comes around and looks like he’s approaching him and is going to jump the officer.”

Camerota responded to Callan's comments the way many people would have “No!" she exclaimed, "Not jump the officer! He’s defending his friend. I mean, when they see this kid thrown to the ground, it’s just, I think, a natural reaction. You want to go defend your friend.”

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“From the cop’s standpoint, he’s looking at this big kid, who he thinks is about to jump him,” Callan responded, “He then un-holsters his weapon and the kid backs off. The cop then re-holsters his weapon and continues to subdue. Of all of the things that he did, that’s probably the one thing that most police officers would say was within training and procedure.”

 

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3. A local white resident calls Casebolt a hero
She wouldn't give her name, but a white McKinney resident says that this cop is a hero. “I want everyone to know that that police officer, along with everyone else, they were completely in the right and protecting everyone,” the woman told CNN’, “He was not out of line. I completely support him drawing his weapon or a Taser or whatever it was that he did pull because he was being attacked from behind.”
“I believe that if your life is threatened, you have every right to pull a gun," she continued, "He probably didn’t intend on using it. I feel horrible for McKinney PD and and the backlash they’re getting for this.” She then added that the officer "deserves a medal" for what he did at the pool.
The woman's view is contradicted by many within the community, including the town's leadership. “I am disturbed and concerned by the incident and actions depicted in the video,” said McKinney Mayor Brian Loughmiller, “Our expectation as a City Council is that our police department and other departments will act professionally and with appropriate restraint relative to the situation they are faced with.”

4. Awkward media coverage

It's hard to pick just one example here, but Larry Wilmore mentioned a notable one on "The Nightly Show." Wilmore showed a clip of Fox's  Brian Kilmeade segueing from the McKinney story to a segment on Jerry Seinfeld complaining about "the PC Police" on college campuses. “Fox, I am losing all ability to follow you guys,” said Wilmore, “The PC police can fucking wait – let’s keep talking about the real police.”

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5. The McKinney Fraternal Order of Police declared that the incident was not racial at all

Daniel Malenfant, lodge president of the McKinney Fraternal Order of Police of which Casebolt is a member said that, although they hadn't examined the video yet, they knew that the situation was not motivated by race at all. "The McKinney FOP assures that this was not a racially motivated incident and can say without a shadow of a doubt that all members of the McKinney FOP and McKinney PD do not conduct racially biased policing,” Malenfant said in a statement.

He also said that, while he doesn't condone swearing at teenagers, sometimes it happens while cops are trying to “gain control of unruly subjects who are not complying with officer demands.”

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The FOP declaration that the incident was not racial ignores some crucial factors: there have been reports that the cops were called because white families were concerned there were too many black kids at the pool, the person who recorded the incident was white and remained unscathed, and white poolgoers reportedly hurled racial slurs at the pool party host.


Michael Arria

MORE FROM Michael Arria


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