The Texas police officer at the center of a controversial video that showed him forcefully handcuffing and drawing his gun on a group of black teenagers at a pool party last weekend has resigned, the city’s police chief announced Tuesday.
McKinney Police Cpl. Eric Casebolt, who was under investigation, “resigned on his own will,” Police Chief Greg Conley said at a news conference. He called Casebolt’s actions “indefensible.”
“As the video shows, he was out of control during the incident,” Conley said. “I had 12 officers on the scene, and 11 of them performed according to their training.”
Conley said the internal investigation into Casebolt’s actions is now over, as he is no longer a department employee. But a decision hasn’t yet been made regarding possible criminal charges, Conley said, according to the Associated Press.
“I do not condone the actions of those individuals who violated the rules of the community and showed disrespect to the security personnel on the scene and officers,” the chief added.
Casebolt’s lawyer, Jane Bishkin, told the AP that her client has received death threats and she declined to say where he is currently located. She noted that more information would be released at a news conference Wednesday.
Bishikin could not immediately be reached for comment.
A 10-year veteran of the McKinney Police Department, Casebolt had been on administrative leave since Friday’s incident, which caused an uproar when video of the confrontation was uploaded to YouTube.
The scene captured in the master-planned community has become another flash point in the ongoing national debate, increasingly fueled by video footage, over police brutality and race.
Two dueling narratives have since emerged in McKinney. On one side are those who say the video is a clear example of excessive force escalating a situation beyond control and of officers harassing young African Americans. Others, however, say race played no role in the situation and that officers in McKinney struggled to keep an unruly group of teens under control.
The video captured a chaotic scene that grew increasingly tense when Casebolt, who is white, pushed a teenage girl onto a sidewalk before using his body weight to push her head toward the concrete. He was also seen pulling her hair.
Police have dropped charges against Adrian Martin, the 18-year-old who was the only individual arrested during Friday’s incident, Conley said Tuesday.
Protesters took to the streets Monday in McKinney, a suburban community about 40 miles north of Dallas, calling for Casebolt’s firing and for charges to be brought against him.
Casebolt served as a vice president of McKinney’s police union, according to the group’s Facebook page, which has since been taken down. He also received an award for “Patrolman of the Year” in 2008, according to the McKinney Courier-Gazette.
“Prior to that,” the Morning News reported, “he served almost two years as a state trooper, according to records from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement. Casebolt took eight hours of cultural diversity training at Collin County Community College in February 2009, and has also taken courses in racial profiling and use of force.”
This post has been updated multiple times. An original version misspelled the name of lawyer Jane Bishkin.