Texas policeman suspended after pulling gun on unarmed black teens at pool party
AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - A Dallas-area policeman has been placed on administrative leave after a video surfaced in social media that showed him throwing a bathing-suit clad girl to the ground and drawing a gun on other teens at a pool party disturbance, officials said on Sunday.
"This video has raised concerns that are being investigated," the police department in McKinney, a city about 30 miles north of Dallas, said on Sunday.
The incident occurred on Friday and raised questions on social media about racial bias in policing since most of the people targeted by the officer, who appears in the video to be white, were black teens in a multi-race crowd.
In the video, the officer, who has not been named, is seen shouting obscenities at the teens and placing a black youth in handcuffs.
Another officer, who also appears to be white, is seen engaging with some of the teens in a cordial manner.
"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," 15-year-old Brandon Brooks, who shot the video, told BuzzFeed News.
McKinney Police said officers were responding to a disturbance reported at a pool that is part of a residential community and many in the crowd refused to leave. You can read their full statement below, via Facebook:
Pool Party Incident:
On June 5, 2015 at approximately 7:15 p.m., officers from the McKinney Police Department responded to a disturbance at the Craig Ranch North Community Pool. The initial call came in as a disturbance involving multiple juveniles at the location, who do not live in the area or have permission to be there, refusing to leave. McKinney Police received several additional calls related to this incident advising that juveniles were now actively fighting.
First responding officers encountered a large crowd that refused to comply with police commands. Nine additional units responded to the scene. Officers were eventually able to gain control of the situation.
McKinney Police later learned of a video that was taken at the scene by an unknown party. This video has raised concerns that are being investigated by the McKinney Police Department. At this time, one of the responding officers has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of this investigation.
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