Attorney Behind $5 Million Lawsuit Says McKinney Pool Party Incident "Textbook Excessive Force"

Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

Last summer, when a Collin County grand jury refused to indict McKinney Police Department officer Eric Casebolt, the teenage girl the officer threw to the ground made it clear that the case wasn't over. Casebolt may have dodged criminal charges, but Dajerria Becton said she was determined to sue.

Late last month, in the midst of the holidays and using only Becton's initials because she's a minor, her attorney quietly filed, demanding $5 million from the city and Casebolt for violating Becton's civil rights.

Wednesday afternoon, attorney Kim Cole made her first public statements since filing the lawsuit, claiming Casebolt used excessive force because he wasn't trained properly by his department. "Unfortunately, we see around the country that law enforcement is not held to the same standard that you or I would be held to," Cole said. "If I slammed my own child to the ground with my knee on his neck, I'd be behind bars. That's a fact."

After the incident, McKinney Police Chief Greg Conley called Casebolt's actions "indefensible" and "out of control." Casebolt resigned his post before the department could take any action against him. In his only statement since the incident, issued through his attorney, Jane Bishkin, Casebolt apologized to "all those he offended" and said that he didn't target teenagers based on race at the party. Bishkin did not return a request for comment Wednesday.

In a statement, the city of McKinney said that it would "vigorously defend" itself against the lawsuit.

"McKinney prides itself in cultivating the highest standards of training and professionalism for our officers, and it strongly believes that its standards and training will withstand legal challenge.”

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.