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."
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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.”