- In 2015, Texas police officer Eric Casebolt violently arrested 15-year-old Dajerria Becton while breaking up a pool party — and a video of it went viral.
- Becton’s family sued and recently received nearly $150,000 in a settlement.
- Becton plans to throw another pool party, the family attorney told Teen Vogue.
In 2015, a video went viral of a white police officer in McKinney, Texas, breaking up an end-of-school pool party by violently arresting several black teens and taking his gun out.
The officer, Eric Casebolt, forced one them, 15-year-old Dajerria Becton, to the ground, put his knee in her back, and held her there for several minutes until another officer put handcuffs on her. It was one of the many events of police violence against black citizens in recent years that drew national attention.
Becton’s family sued Casebolt and the city in federal court for $5 million, alleging excessive force.
In May, they reached a settlement, with Becton receiving $148,850 just as she graduated high school. (The total amount of the settlement was $184,850, but a portion went to attorneys.) Casebolt left the police force a few days after the incident.
Becton’s attorney, Kim T. Cole, told Teen Vogue, that Becton is planning another pool party to celebrate. The event, she said, will raise money for scholarships for teenagers at her high school.
“My goal is to redo this experience,” Cole said. “Dajerria recently told me she hasn’t been swimming since the incident.”
But to some degree, Cole said, the damage is irreversible.
“This girl will never be the same,” Cole told Teen Vogue. “Anyone who has been a teenage black girl knows how hard it is, and to have this type of negative publicity, in your bikini, shown all over the world. It tore her up. We don’t know who she would have been had this not happened.”
And the town of McKinney, according to Cole, hasn’t made any substantial changes despite the attention the video received.
“Their position is ‘We did nothing wrong and we don’t have to change anything,'” Cole said. “We can scream it from the rooftops, but the fact of the matter is that black lives don’t matter; they don’t have much value in this society.”
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