Civil Liberties

Cop Pulls Gun on Unarmed Black Kids at Pool Party

Wrestles bikini-clad teen to the ground



The police department of McKinney, Texas, launched an investigation after a video was uploaded to Youtube showing an officer pulling his gun on several unarmed black kids and wrestling one of them—a bikini-clad teen—to the ground.

The incident happened at a community pool in McKinney, Texas, on Friday, where an end-of-year party was being held. According to the officers, several of the attendees did not live in the area and had no right to use the pool. Some of them were fighting, police told The Huffington Post:

Police on Friday evening were called to the Craig Ranch North Community Pool in McKinney, roughly 40 miles north of Dallas. McKinney police said in a statement they were responding to a disturbance "involving multiple juveniles at the location, who do not live in the area or have permission to be there, refusing to leave," and that some of them were fighting.

The video shows several black teenagers ignoring police demands to sit still, or move to the other side of the street—although none of them appear to be doing anything wrong besides that. Indeed, it's not clear why the officers were even interested in them in the first place: Several said they had just arrived when the cops grabbed them. They argue with the three officers, and plead to be let go, but don't resist violently. Still, one officer becomes more agitated than the other two, and eventually draws his gun in an apparent attempt to scare the teens. This officer eventually grabs a girl in a bikini, throws her to the ground, and handcuffs her hands behind her back.

All three officers shown in the video were white. The arrested teens were black. The area is predominantly white, which begs the question: did the people called the police have a problem with black kids using a white neighborhood's pool? (The kids claimed to have guest passes.) All the kids were released, and none were charged, according to Mashable.

One of the officers was suspended pending an investigation, though it isn't actually clear which one. The officer who pulled his gun and tackled the girl shouldn't have done either of those things; at the very least, he should face the appropriate punishment for overreacting. Beyond that, it's hard to judge what seems like a messy situation in which no one, thankfully, was hurt. But there does seem to be a racial aspect. BuzzFeed News spoke with Brandon Brooks, the 15-year-old white male who filmed the video:

"I think a bunch of white parents were angry that a bunch of black kids who don't live in the neighborhood were in the pool," said Brooks, who is white. …

"Everyone who was getting put on the ground was black, Mexican, Arabic," he said. "[The cop] didn't even look at me. It was kind of like I was invisible."