Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Police Reform NOW: McKinney Pool Party Goes Awry

If you Google 'pool party' the first thing that will pop up is a video of a cop violently throwing a 14 year old black girl to the ground and putting his knee in his back after an end of the year pool party goes awry.   I'm over here like "Is this really happening again??"

It all started in McKinney, Texas when residents of a suburb got upset about outsiders swimming in the neighborhood's private pool. Some party goers had been given passes to the pool.  At some point, the party got out of hand.  One of the residents thought it was a good a idea to tell one of the black teens to go back to her Section 8 housing even though the young lady lived in the neighborhood.  Soon after those shots were fired, fists went flying.  Needless to say, cops were called. 

In comes fake 007 Officer Eric Casebolt with his wack parkour moves. Seriously, if you haven't seen it check it out.  It was the most unnecessary ground roll in the history of police patrol.  While trying to get  control (if that's what you want call it) of the teens, he yanks a girl, wearing nothing but a bathing suit, to the ground.  He forces her face into the grass and proceeds to  sit on her.  Literally. sits. on. her.  We also see on the video  the only ones being asked to get to the ground are the black teens.  Even the young boy recording the whole incident (who is white) said he felt like he was invisible.  Officer Casebolt has been put on administrative leave.

I'm not here to discuss what the details of the day were.  I was not at this pool party and can't say without a shadow of the doubt if the kids were suppose to be there or not.  However, I will say  I'm petitioning for a new lesson plan for police academies and as well as follow up police training:


I don't only want this to be put into the curriculum but I want it to be taught on the first day. On day one of police training, every student should have to write the above statement 100 times and then a 100 times more on a piece a paper and then turn to their neighbor and tell him/her 100 times.  After the first day of training, each trainee will recite it every morning to the end of their training.  On the day of graduation, along with the pledge they give to protect and serve their community, they will again recite: BLACK PEOPLE ARE NOT SUPER HUMANS AND THUS DO NOT NEED TO BE SUBDUED WITH EXCESSIVE FORCE. 

On their exams, there needs to be questions like:

1. If you are trying to get control of a pool party that has gone bat crazy and you come across an unarmed, black 14 year old girl wearing nothing but a bathing suit is it necessary to slam her face first to the ground and then sit on her back?

A. No
B. No
C. No
D. All of the above
E. The answer is No.
2. At what point do you need to pull your gun out at unarmed black teens?

A. Never
B. Never
C. Never
D. Seriously, Never

3. If you are easily threatened by unarmed People of Color, what should you do immediately?

A. Not be a cop
B. Stop taking this exam right now and not be a cop
C. Whatever you do please do not be a cop

Some might say, "Ebony, don't you think these questions are a little much?"  No, not at all!  For the last 6 months the news has been filled with reports of cops killing unharmed people.  The only good thing about this particular incident is that no one was killed.  Even so, it's hard to ignore what has happen in the last year.  But what really makes me go 'hmmmm' is the fact it keeps happening.  When students continue to flunk out of school what do they do? Reform.  When trends showed that children were more obese now than ever before? School lunch reform. When studies showed  cigarettes were actually a danger to users' health? Reformed the way they were sold.  It's clear that humans know how to notice trends and make needed changes.  So, it blows my mind there hasn't been a more drastic shift in how police patrol people of color when every 2 weeks we are having to rally in the memory of someone who has been shot down by a cop.

What breaks my heart even more is that some white people truly don't understand what we are saying when we say #BlackLivesMatter.  On one of the segments on CNN a woman said this cop deserved a medal.  A medal?! Let's not act like he was breaking up an act of terrorism.  He was dealing with a teen pool party.  I think if it was changed to #BlackLivesMatterToo they would get it.  We are not saying that we want to be held  above the law.  We just want to be able to do simple things like walk to the corner store, play at the playground, take the trash out, and yes, swim and live to tell about it.  

UPDATE:  Officer Casebolt has resigned. Thank God. 

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