Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Kathleen Parker: Pool Party Mayhem

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Kathleen Parker: Pool Party Mayhem

Article excerpt

Video imagery doesn't get much worse than a white police officer throwing an African-American girl in a bikini to the ground, kneeling on her back as she cries, and drawing his gun on other teens.

What in God's name is wrong with our cops?

Would that this were an isolated case, but we've seen other videos the past year or so involving other police officers, mostly white, whose aggressive tactics resulted in death or injury to unarmed, black victims.

While it's necessary to qualify that most cops are good and risk their lives to protect our safety, nothing justifies what millions of Americans witnessed in the latest viral video described above.

What has been reported is that the original melee, which had ended by the time police arrived, may have been prompted by two white women hurling racial slurs when a crowd of teens, mostly black, arrived for a cookout at the private, planned-community pool.

"Go back to (your) Section 8 home," one of them reportedly said, according to the party's host, a teen who lives in the pool's neighborhood.

Most anyone can understand the women's irritation at the suddenly overcrowded scene but not their resort to cruel and inflammatory language. Some of the teens apparently were shouting at the gate to be let in, while others scaled the wall. The mixed-race community has strict rules that residents can bring only two guests to the pool.

A fight eventually erupted and the police were called. This would have been a daunting situation for anyone, but police Cpl. Eric Casebolt of McKinney, Texas, couldn't have picked a less appropriate individual to subdue as an example to others. Many have asked: Didn't he realize he was being filmed? As though, if only he'd known, he would have behaved better. The more compelling question to me is: What in the world was he thinking? …

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