The 14 year old girl didn't comply with the Casebolt's directions to leave but that doesn't excuse the amount of aggression he used on her. Handcuffing her would have been a correct way to handle it but slamming her to the ground and subduing her by putting his knees on her back is just ridiculous and unethical.
She wasn't armed and posed little threat to a large trained police officer. It was an act of aggression and is totally unacceptable. Officer Casebolt also drew his firearm - let's remember that this is a pool party. It's a hard fought constitutional right to disobey a corrupt or overly aggressive police officer. We pay for them! They have no right to be attacking people who are largely innocent.
The police are not above the constitution, the law, or the people. The statistics are well documented, racial minorities are unfairly targeted. For example, the fact that the unarmed black people are twice as likely statistically to be killed over unarmed white people.
At first glance and when watching the videos online on this incident, one would have the gut reaction of that was too much force. But upon deeper thought, review, contemplation, and immersing oneself into the situation, the clear answer is no.
There has recently been a rash of videos and reports of police violence and "racism" across the nation. When reading and listening to most media outlets and every social media and drive-by reporting site, one would think the national police collective has some kind of giant, well hidden racist vendetta against black Americans. However, let's be honest here, the real problem is the lack of respect for authority and rules in this nation.
I don't care whether you feel like you're being discriminated against or not, if you did something wrong or not, or whatever your generic "I did nothing wrong" reason is; when a police officer asks or tells you to do something, you do it, promptly and without confrontation verbally or physically. These officers put their lives on the line every day for a measly wage to protect all of us, they spend 8 hours a day get spat on, pushed around, verbally abused, strung along on high speed chases for miles, and all kinds of other abuses. The last thing you should be doing is needlessly making their lives worse by acting stupid.
In this case, the officer was called to a reported violent altercation. When giving orders, not only the girl in question, but also the entire group of kids there completely disregarded the orders to disperse or to get on the ground; some even took off running causing the officer in question to give chase. In the video, you can clearly see the officer being surrounded by multiple agitators (maybe not physically touching but surrounding and closing the free space in multiple directions around the officer), these agitators were treating the situation as a school yard fight, giving no space for comfort for the officer. To add to that, the girl wanted to back talk and ignore orders from the officer. Everybody wants to act all big and bad until the officer targets you for detaining, then the water works come out followed shortly after by the random friend with the camera phone who conveniently left it tucked away in his pocket until now.
Personally, I have been detained a number of times by officers due to false targeting. At 11 for another person stealing a CD. More recently, I was on the city bus going to work and a passenger who happened to run a halfway house thought I was a resident that ran off a few days prior. The driver secretly called the cops, I was detained for 3 hours until they realized I was telling the truth.
Just do what they say and everything will pan out. Push back and be tough and you're gonna have a bad day. I need to stop here for lack of space.
This isn't about race - a white teen was also arrested. The majority of the crowd happened to be black, but the crowd was diverse. There was ridiculousness from all sides: from the neighbors cursing at the kids, from the police allowing these kids get the best of them, and from the kids not doing what they're told - especially when the adults were officers.
Apparently the DJ was trying to get a crowd going, unbeknownst to the host, via twitter; and the size of the crowd was against the homeowner's association policy. The kids were mouthing off and even threatening the security guard, who appropriately called the police.
As for Casebolt - he was clearly having the male kids detained for questioning pertaining to fights that broke out earlier (the kid with the camera was also male but was staying anyway); and he was ordering other kids to disperse. The kids who fled happened to be black; the kids who refused to disperse happened to be black - don't make this about Casebolt being racist. Casebolt was the only officer attempting get the entire situation under control - detaining those who needed to be questioned and dispersing pockets of potential threats - while the other officers just stood around.
When Casebolt repeatedly ordered the kids to disperse, the girl in question mouthed-off to the officer. Even as Casebolt was arresting her (probably for failure to follow orders, or obstruction, or interfering with an officer), she was physically resisting. And as she exclaimed, "Call my momma!" in my opinion her demeanor was resistant and not distressed or fearful.
Why did Casebolt pull his gun afterwards? It's so very clear in the video, 2 kids approached him from behind with intent. What that intent was is unclear since Casebolt spotted them and reacted - and he reacted very appropriately to this possible threat. No one should be attempting to sneak behind an officer under any circumstance, kid or otherwise.
I hate that the media shows quick clips out of context and spins their statements to imply unethical behavior or immoral values, instigating outrage and inflaming the public. "As they begin to back up and then turn to flee, he pulls out his gun and approaches menacingly...", "He also pulled out his gun and pointed it at other teens...", "...The white police officer pinned a black teenage girl to the ground and pulled a gun on others..." -- wrong, wrong, wrong. Why? All of those statements misrepresent what actually happened. None of those statements explain the why's and wherefore's - they are meant to intentionally shock and inflame us for no good reason.
If, as a civilian, I were asked to restore order and help uphold rules that were justly set by a community, against this unruly group of kids who were jumping fences and fighting amongst themselves and with the community, I probably wouldn't have had the restraint that Casebolt did. Casebolt's commanding officer was wrong to completely denounce him.