A bikini-clad black teenager who was shoved to the ground by a North Texas police officer has settled a federal lawsuit against him and the city of McKinney for almost $150,000.
The legal guardian of then-15-year-old Dajerria Becton filed a $5 million lawsuit following the June 2015 incident that was captured on cellphone videos.
The lawsuit alleged negligence, false arrest, assault and excessive force by then-Cpl. Eric Casebolt, who was among several officers responding to reports of a disturbance at the party. Casebolt later resigned.
Court documents show the settlement approved May 24 provides Becton with $148,850 and six others on the lawsuit each receive $6,000.
Casebolt and the city deny wrongdoing, but say the settlement avoids the uncertainty and cost of a lawsuit.
Videos taken by witnesses at the pool showed Casebolt, who is white, running after black teens and ordering them to the ground, then forcing Becton onto her stomach and placing his knees on her back. At one point in one of the videos, he can be seen drawing his firearm after two young black men charged forward in apparent protest of the girl's treatment but holstered the weapon when two other officers intervened.
Police said officers were responding to reports that teens unauthorized to use the Craig Ranch North Community Pool were jumping a fence to gain entry. However, several parents said the teens were attending a pool party and cookout hosted by a mother and her two teen daughters.
Residents of the middle-class neighborhood had said teens attending an end-of-school party at the pool and adjacent park were acting unruly.
Casebolt later apologized, through his attorney, saying he had responded to two suicide calls before the incident at the pool and that the nature of those calls took an emotional toll on him.
The incident drew national scrutiny from civil rights groups who called for Casebolt to be charged. A Collin County grand jury decided not to indict the officer in the matter.