“When will a group of kids of color together stop being seen as a gang/ mob and start being seen as AMERICANS?” That’s the question that Shonda Rhimes is asking after footage of several teenagers being chased and handcuffed by officers in McKinney, Texas has gone viral. The screenwriter and producer posed the question, along with several other inquiries, via Twitter on Monday.
“My kids didn’t wanna get out of pool today. ANYONE think best way 2 handle is grab ’em by throat, slam em to ground & cuff ’em,” asked the star. She also wrote, “There are GREAT cops out there. Who also do not want to work in a world with racially biased/racist violent cops. How do we help them?”
Corporal Eric Casebolt responded to a fight in a housing complex on Sunday that came about after several white residents of a community in McKinney made offensive comments about African American teenagers who were attending Tatyana Rhoades’ pool party. Rhoades and her mother are residents of the community and decided to have a cookout for the weekend. The gathering was, however, interrupted when a Caucasian woman berated the 15-year-old and her guests by telling them that they should go back to their ” Section 8 homes.” A fight eventually broke out between Tatyana and the Caucasian woman and eventually police officers were dispatched to the scene. That’s where Corporal Casebolt came in.
Upon arriving to the community, the officer began hunting down and handcuffing African American teenagers in attendance at the party. According to the Caucasian teen who taped the incident:
“The 9-1-1 call was probably described as this Black girl beating up this mom, which was actually the other way around. The mom pulled the girl’s hair. I think the cop just got nervous and started putting every Black person on the ground, trying to catch this one girl (Tatyana) who was in the fight with the mom – while the mom just stood there and laughed.”
Corporal Casebolt did not “catch” Tatyana but he did grab hold of another 14-year-old girl who was leaving the scene as instructed and slammed her to the ground. “He grabbed me and he like twisted my arm in the back of my back,” said the girl. “I was telling him he can get off me because my back was hurting really bad.” The officer also pulled a gun on several unarmed teens in the crowd and used profanity when addressing the kids.
Casebolt has been placed on administrative leave since Sunday’s incident. Many activists are calling for him to be fired. What are your thoughts?