Family of Dajerria Becton, girl pinned down at McKinney pool party, will file lawsuit against ex-cop on Monday pic.twitter.com/URINx65Drd— Julieta Chiquillo (@jmchiquillo) June 24, 2016
Justice has finally been served for a teenage girl who was brutally tackled by a police officer during a pool party in McKinney, Texas, back in 2015.
The disturbing cellphone footage of the incident went viral at the time. Dajerria Becton was only 15 when Officer Eric Casebolt dragged her by the hair, slammed her to the ground, and handcuffed her while she shouted for her mother in fear and agony, HuffPost reports.
Black Texas Teenager Brutalized in 2015 Finally Gets Her Pool Party: Dajerria Becton said she hasn't gone swimming since the episode three years ago. https://t.co/OwGDof4nks pic.twitter.com/y5vuMh3xje— Doyle Industries (@DoyleGlobal) June 20, 2018
Following the incident — which sparked protests and widespread outrage — Becton and her legal guardian, Shashona Becton, sued Casebolt, the police department, and the city of McKinney for $5 million. As of last month, the Bectons and other plaintiffs named in the case were granted a $184,850 settlement.
Appropriately, Becton will have a pool party in her honor to celebrate both the settlement and her high school graduation, which will be hosted by her attorney, Kim T. Cole.
The lawsuit was initially filed on the grounds that Becton’s constitutional rights were violated because Casebolt used excessive force and held her without probable cause. Additionally, they sought punitive damages.
It should be noted that Casebolt hasn’t been on the force this entire time. He resigned four days after the party following Police Chief Greg Conley’s assertion that Casebolt’s actions were “indefensible.”
“Our policies, our training and our practice do not support his actions,” Conley said at a news conference in June 2015.
Unfortunately, no criminal charges were brought against Casebolt, and the terms of the settlement agreement indicate that he and the city admit no liability for the plaintiffs' claims. Nevertheless, the monetary award is rather significant and will certainly help with tuition expenses for whichever college Becton may be heading to.
As for the upcoming pool party, Becton’s attorney hopes to restore positive memories of swimming for the teen and her friends.
“My goal is to redo this experience,” Cole told Teen Vogue. “Dajerria recently told me she hasn’t been swimming since the incident.”
While this process has surely been long and grueling, Becton can finally move forward and stop having to relive that horrible day over and over. She can get back to enjoying her youth and taking a dip in the pool again.
Her case, however, will not be forgotten as it is one of many high-profile police brutality incidents that have occurred in the years since she was assaulted. Her nightmare may be over, but the fights for racial equality and against police brutality are far from settled.
Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: Flickr, Tom Hilton