The bikini-clad teenager who was thrown to the ground, grabbed by the hair, and forcefully arrested by a Texas police officer during a summer pool party in 2015 is suing for $5million.
Dajerria Becton, who was 15 at the time of the arrest, and her legal guardian, Shashona Becton, are suing former cop Eric Casebolt, the city of McKinney, and the police department, according to Dallas News.
They are asking for $5million in damages for ‘mental anguish, loss of quality of life as well as attorney fees.’ They say the harsh treatment the teen received is consistent with the training practices of the department.
The city and the police department have denied the claims, saying in a statement: ‘McKinney prides itself in cultivating the highest standards of training and professionalism for our officers, and it strongly believes that its standards and training will withstand legal challenge.
Casebolt resigned from the force four days after the June 5 incident and received what he said were thousands of death threats. Last year, a grand jury declined to indict him on criminal charges.
In the suit, Dajerria said she was in the process of leaving the party when Casebolt came after her with his baton raised, threw her down to the ground, grabbed her by her long braids, and slammed her face into the grass. He then pinned her with one knee.
Video shot by a teen at the party shows Casebolt waving his gun at several of the teens.
The complaint says – and the video shows – that the officer then sat on Dajerria’s back and handcuffed her.
‘The entire time D.B. she could do nothing [but] cry out in pain and repeatedly beg for her ‘Momma’ as she endured the pain inflicted upon her by Defendant Casebolt’s physical assault,’ the lawsuit reads, according to Dallas News.
Dajerria said the overly-forceful arrest caused injuries both physical and psychological but didn’t elaborate.
The lawsuit says the force used by the officer was consistent with the department’s officer training.
‘There exists a practice of excessive force incidents that result from the training or lack thereof, received by MPD officers. Upon information and belief, MPD officers are trained by individuals with little or no experience working in the field,’ said the lawsuit.
Last year, Dajerria’s attorney approached representatives for the city and offered not to bring a lawsuit if the girl was paid $2.5million, claiming the girl suffered ‘social damage’ and needs to attend a private school, according to the outlet.
Her family also asked that officers be retrained to learn how to handle teens.
The city declined the offer.
Casebolt said he was forced to go into hiding because of death threats.
He also denied to the Dailymail.com last year that he was racist, with a friend relaying his message: ‘I am a victim of all that has been going on right now. I’m just sorry that I have contributed to it. On another time, nobody could have accused me of being racist.
‘Things got the better of me and that’s all. I am very concerned that folk stop judging me in that way.’
Earlier on the day of the incident, Casebolt had dealt with two suicide calls, including comforting a woman whose husband who shot himself dead in front of children at an apartment complex.
But the chief of police, Greg Conley, didn’t stand by his side over the incident, saying: ‘He came into the call out of control, and as the video shows, was out of control during the incident.’
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Kiri Blakeley