The McKinney police officer who pulled a gun on two unarmed teenage boys and tackled and pinned an unarmed teenage girl was the victim of his emotions, his attorney said Wednesday.
"With all that happened that day, he allowed his emotions to get the better of him. Eric regrets that his conduct portrayed him and his department in a negative light. He never intended to mistreat anyone, but was only reacting to a situation and the challenges it presented. He apologies to all he offended," Bishkin said.
Eric is Eric Casebolt, the officer captured on video. Casebolt was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation Sunday. He quit the McKinney police department Tuesday afternoon.
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Bishkin said that Casebolt responded poorly to the situation at the pool party because of two difficult calls earlier in the day. The first was a suicide. Bishkin made sure to point out that the man who killed himself was black, and that Casebolt comforted the deceased's wife at the scene. The second call came from the family of a suicidal teenage girl who was taken successfully to the hospital.
Due to the stress of the previous calls, Casebolt was hesitant to take the pool party call, his lawyer said, until he heard about a violent assault happening at the party. He didn't target the black kids at the party, she said, only the ones who were "[hampering the investigation] by instructing others to defy police instructions."
Casebolt did not make an appearance with his lawyer. He's afraid because he's received death threats, Bishkin said.
In a separate press conference at McKinney police headquarters, activists called for criminal charges against Casebolt. Representatives of the Dallas Chapter of the NAACP, the Nation of Islam and Black Lawyers for Justice said that the Collin County District Attorney should charge Casebolt with assault for his takedown of 14-year-old Dajerria Becton.