Video of officer who drew gun on black teens raises tension
Updated: 2015-06-09 13:33
McKINNEY, Texas - A police officer's actions raised tensions Monday in the Dallas suburb of McKinney, where some community activists accused the officer of racism while others urged calm until the facts are investigated.
The officer was videotaped pinning a black teenager to the ground at a suburban pool party just moments after drawing his handgun on other black teens.
Jahi Adisa Bakari, the father of another teenage girl at the party, said he would press for the officer to be fired, saying he "was out of control.''
But Benét Embry, a black local radio personality who witnessed the incident, said it was "not another Ferguson'' or "another Baltimore,'' referring to other police encounters that have left suspects dead and fueled a nationwide "Black Lives Matter'' movement.
"This was a teenage party that got out of hand,'' Embry said.
Police said the youths did not live in the area and did not have permission to be at the pool in McKinney, an affluent, predominantly white city.
According to neighbors, Embry said, a woman who lives in the community reserved the pool for a party. The homeowners' association limits the number of guests each homeowner may have at the pool to two. But about 130 people, mostly kids, showed up for the woman's party, he said.
At one point, several kids began jumping over the fence to get into the pool area and were causing a disturbance, Embry said, and a couple of fights broke out.
While he did not agree with the officer's profanity or belligerence, Embry said, police were right to respond.
"That's what they are supposed to do _ protect us,'' he said. "I don't know any other way he could have taken her down or established order.''
The officer has been placed on administrative leave. In a statement, the police department said the video "raised concerns that are being investigated.''