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Est. April 5, 2002
June 11, 2015 - Issue 610

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The McKinney Power Grab

"For white Americans—in this instance, those
in that Dallas suburb community—who believe
that the police were justified, know that they
still favor segregated pools, schools and
communities—and those same people run afoul
of today’s interpretation of the US Constitution."

We often think of the term “power grab” when speaking of political coups in Latin American “banana republics,” but I want to share its use in a more intimate context that gives further credence to the fact that centuries-old racial assaults on Black Americans continue.

You, like millions of other Americans, have likely bore witness to the assault—and insult—upon Blacks in America that occurred this past weekend in McKinney, a suburb of Dallas, Texas.  McKinney police officer, Eric Casebolt, responded to a call about a disturbance at a teens’ pool party. He slung a Black teenage girl to the ground as he restrained her. The girl said she was an invited guest and was obeying his orders to leave when he grabbed her. 

I contend that Dajerria Becton, 15 years old, was manhandled by Casebolt simply because she was the most vulnerable.  He saw an opportunity to use the young female as an example.  Grabbing this girl—a child—was simply about exuding power—that no white male in America can imagine anyone challenging.

Becton said, "And I kept walking and then I'm guessing he thought we were saying rude stuff to him."  Becton was then thrown to the ground by Casebolt, one of 12 McKinney Police Department officers who responded to the disturbance call at a private community pool.  Strangely enough, Casebolt showed himself to be a one-man wrecking crew.  He enters the videographer’s frame at a zillion miles-an-hour, does an action movie-type barrel roll, segueing into a run—in hot pursuit…of what? Of whom?  He didn’t even know who he was chasing!  Watching the video, Casebolt looked like a cartoonish imp hyped-up on Red Bull!

But that wasn’t the whole of it…
In the video of the incident taken by a fellow teen and posted to YouTube, Casebolt, who is white, can be seen shouting obscenities and ordering some Black teens to lie on the ground while telling others to disperse. He then pulls his gun on a pair of Black teenagers who appear to be coming to Becton's aid. Oh, the videographer was a white teen who also attended the pool party.

Pulling his gun on the Black males is the other half of the power dynamic. You see, he subconsciously knew that he might lose in hand-to-hand physical confrontation with a Black male, so the equalizer for him—like George Zimmerman and Michael Dunn, both in Florida—was a firearm.  Wonder no more why white males so cherish their interpretation of the Second Amendment’s “right to bear arms.”

There are timid and shallow protests taking place in Dallas-Fort Worth, as there should be.  But understand that this incident is simply validating the cries of the past 60 years—I used words from one of my favorite Malcolm X speeches.)

The bottom line: I want Officer Casebolt JAILED!

This isn’t Casebolt’s first rodeo with insanity. Federal court documents show that Casebolt and other officers were sued in 2008 in federal court for racial profiling, harassment, failure to render aid and sexual assault. Albert E. Brown Jr. accused Casebolt of reaching into his “private area” and pulling his pants “down below ankles” during a traffic stop.

Officer Casebolt knows better. He was named the Department’s Officer of the Year in 2008.  Now, seven years later, Casebolt is facing outrage from the community, national media scrutiny and an internal investigation.  The thing is, he was awarded that honor by his peers—that may be just as loony…and dangerous. That might’ve been called “good policing”—had it not been caught on camera.

I’m not the only American to see it this way.  The National Bar Association, a network of predominantly Black attorneys, judges and law professors, called for Casebolt's immediate firing.  "It is insufficient to place him on paid administrative leave, when it is obviously clear that this officer was not enforcing the law, but instead was enforcing his will and power and showing explicit bias toward these African-American teenagers," the Washington, D.C.-based group said. "The girl is obviously in distress and not in any manner moving or attempting to get away from the officer. She posed no physical threat to the officer."

That’s the issue at hand: the only threat that Casebolt saw was the threat to his self-indwelled power.  To have anyone—especially Black children—challenge or even question his overreaction to a non-incident, is what threatened him.  Even a child could see that this officer escalated the situation far beyond what was necessary.  These police ‘overreactions’ are the seeds the mushroom into the murders of many Black Americans, including Oscar Grant in Oakland, Eric Garner and Ramarley Graham in New York, and Tyrone West and Freddie Gray in Baltimore. 

Of course this needs to stop, but it won’t until white Liberals and Progressives join Black Americans to diminish the unfettered power of police unions that coddle and shield those police whose brutality violates the public’s civil rights. Yes, this needs to stop, but it won’t until Black Americans change their timid forms of protests that has an unintended effect of giving safe haven to police.  For white Americans—in this instance, those in that Dallas suburb community—who believe that the police were justified, know that they still favor segregated pools, schools and communities—and those same people run afoul of today’s interpretation of the US Constitution.

Those same people—those Conservative whites are on the warpath; they want to “Take Their Country Back!”  The only thing stopping them is the law and God…and why would they oppose the police?  They won’t and don’t.

These are the problems:

Problem 1: In this incident, the approaching adult (the officer) had no reason to begin his interactions with these children in such a vile and inhumane manner.

Problem 2: The officer accosted only Black teens and placed them on the ground.

Problem 3: Man-handling Dajerria Becton is the biggest indication of a coward who wanted control--of SOMEBODY...In ‘Freudianesque’ psychoanalysis, a black girl is often the target of white males affections...and finally,

Problem 4: Pulling a GUN on someone--when your life isn't threatened is cowardly at the least; brutality behind a badge in reality.

Why would McKinney officials NOT fire this officer? Since this writing, Casebolt has resigned but he would’ve stayed on the force if only because the victims were Black, and he, the terrorist, was white.  This incident cannot end in the police agency’s “finding.”  McKinney will continue to cover for another lunatic in blue—and a way out!  The city will make the “bad apple” claim—when the other apples covering him are bad too. If you choose to do nothing, just keep this incident in mind, and the next time white males with authority confront you, don’t be surprised if you become the latest example in a ”power grab.” Columnist, Perry Redd, longtime activist & organizer, is the Executive Director of the workers rights advocacy, Sincere
that currently owns the FCC license for WOOK-LP 103.1FM/ His latest book,
Perry NoName: A Journal From A Federal Prison-book 1, chronicles his ‘behind bars’ activism that extricated him from a 42-year sentence and is now case law. He is also the author of As A Condition of Your Freedom: A Guide to Self-Redemption From Societal Oppression, Mr. Redd also hosts a radio show, Socially Speaking, from his Washington, DC studio. Contact Mr. Redd and BC.
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