McKinney’s Rorschach

Over the course of nine minutes of cell phone footage, most of the world sees a straightforward picture. The amped-up white police officer violently subdues an otherwise compliant, 14-year old black girl in a bikini who had been standing on a sidewalk. When other children object and move closer, he pulls his gun and levels it at them. They see that same officer running and shouting and cussing at a crowd of kids who don’t appear to be doing anything inappropriate for a public venue.

Some people watch that same sequence of images and build a starkly different narrative. That’s what makes this incident so interesting and so telling. Video from the police confrontation at the public park in McKinney is a sociologist’s dream, a near-perfect litmus test to explore deep-seated cultural and psychological assumptions. The video snippets of the incident in McKinney aren’t half as interesting as our individual responses to what we see in them.

Here’s what we know about the incident. McKinney is a distant suburb of Dallas. The neighborhood, like the town, is overwhelmingly white. At a public park which adjoins a neighborhood pool open only to residents, someone staged a paid event with a DJ. It is not clear whether they had or needed any permit. Most of the participants were young black teenagers from outside the neighborhood.

Residents complained that party-goers were spilling into the gated, residents-only pool area. When confronted by security they claimed to have “guest-passes” and many refused to leave. Tensions escalated. According to several witnesses, a fight broke out when a white woman told a black teen to “go back to their Section 8 housing.” A separate video shows that fight. The police were called and the now-familiar footage was recorded.

City officials in McKinney have acted with remarkable decisiveness. The mayor and police chief unequivocally condemned the incident. The officer in question was immediately placed on leave and has already left the force. For a variety of reasons, this incident has unfolded in a manner different some instances of police violence elsewhere in the country.

Not everyone appreciates the firm action of McKinney’s elected representatives. Anyone who has friends or relatives in Texas may have seen comments like this Facebook post that showed up on your author’s news feed:

“Wake up people!! These disrespectful wild gang banging teens need to learn how to act! Shame on them, their parents and this godforsaken liberal media that gives these idiots more attention than they deserve!”

Some people watch that footage and see a courageous officer holding the line against a marauding onslaught of “gang banging” barbarians. They see the end of the world, or at least the end of their world, a world in which their interests, their property, their lives held a special place of honor above all others.

How “disrespectful” were these “gang-banging teens”? As a sample of their behavior the video shows a kid detained by Officer Casebolt mustering the temerity to mouth off by appealing, “Sir, we just came to a birthday party…” That’s right, “sir.” So, “shame on their parents.”

Some background might be helpful, both in understanding the history that led to this incident and understanding why McKinney’s response was so different from what we’ve seen elsewhere in the country. It starts with the death of public capital in the South.

Swimming pools have been a particularly touchy subject in the post-Civil Rights Era. Tactics used to evade desegregation of pools became a template for maintaining unofficial segregation right into our era.

From Alabama to East Texas, public swimming pools were among the first public institutions to be destroyed in order to thwart desegregation. Marshall, Texas blocked desegregation by closing down its public pool. It later re-opened the pool under private sponsorship, allowing the facility to remain segregated. The same mechanism was leveraged by Montgomery, Alabama until Federal courts struck down their effort in 1970. The same tactic remained in place elsewhere.

Over time, more sophisticated measures were adopted. Those tactics applied to public institutions of almost every kind. Basically whatever could not be privatized was either discontinued or starved of funding.

Major cities across the South still lack effective public transportation at almost any level. Some towns still have public pools, but white communities have their own facilities built into private subdivisions, like the pool in McKinney, allowing them to filter and regulate access. A subtle, entirely legal move toward carefully calibrated “privatization” has undermined the public character of every institution from schools to parks. Scenes from McKinney demonstrate in the most literal way possible “why we can’t have nice things.”

McKinney’s response to the incident also highlights something unique about Southern life, but from a very different angle. When Cleveland police last fall rolled up on a 12-year old black child with a pellet gun and immediately killed him, it took weeks for city officials to respond in any coherent way.

When a cop in the heart of the racist South put a hand on young black kid in an inappropriate and disrespectful manner he was out of a job in days. The family of Tamir Rice in Cleveland is still waiting for charges or disciplinary action six months after a horrifying incident of official misconduct that was recorded on tape. Meanwhile, McKinney has put a much less egregious issue very nearly to rest in less than two weeks.

McKinney, and the area in which it sits, has a miserable racial history, but it also lacks the sclerotic, corrupt public institutions that burden government and undermine its ability to adapt across much of the north. Police officers in Texas and across the South participate in employee unions, but those institutions have no power remotely approaching what their fellow institutions enjoy in northern cities. There is no institution in Texas with the built-in political power to shield police officers from scrutiny and discipline.

Baltimore and Cleveland have black Democratic leadership keenly sensitive to the needs of minority communities. McKinney, like Texas in general, is run by white Republicans almost entirely blind to minority concerns where they are not openly hostile to them.

However, there is no political force with the power to tame public employee unions in Cleveland or Baltimore or New York or Chicago. In McKinney, the government is capable of moving to rein in obvious abuses by public servants. Municipal governments all across the north simply lack that capability. McKinney has far more freedom to adapt to changing circumstances than Cleveland.

Against that backdrop of history and the footage of this particular incident, a fascinatingly diverse set of narratives have emerged. Consult your own Facebook or Twitter feeds, or your grandmothers’ forwarded emails for examples. What does your author see in this Rorschach? Hope and optimism.

In a place with an extremely dark racial history, I see an incident that might well have ended in tragedy instead tempered by restraint. I see young black kids confronted by absurd injustice responding with respect and decency, but also with a fresh new assertiveness. The kids in this footage are not cowering. They seem to recognize not only that they have rights and dignity, but that they have the power to assert those rights and that dignity.

Yes, I see a white police officer responding to a racially charged scenario with an arrogance born of a sense of supremacy. Right there with him though are two other white officers with cool heads and professionalism who calm the situation and prevent a tragedy. Most remarkable of all, I see a conservative white municipal administration that acted with surprising decisiveness when presented with clear evidence of abuse.

Like everyone else, what I see emerging from this scenario confirms my own bias. In this case, it’s my bias toward progress and my faith in America. This country is getting better. Young people, whether the kids at the pool or those very young faces in the police uniforms are building a better world than we imagined was possible. I hope you see it too.

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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Posted in Civil Rights, Texas
161 comments on “McKinney’s Rorschach
  1. flypusher says:

    So the 4th grade teacher who was waxing nostalgic about the good old days of segregation on social media has been fired. But I’ll be willing to give her her job back on one condition. Let her publicly defend her statement about the benefits of segregation to society, and back it up with some evidence. Degrees of difficulty:1) She has to provide examples of how it was good for everyone, not just White people, and 2) she needs a good cogent case of how to reconcile the contradictions between “segregation good” and the Bill of Rights, the 14th Amendment, the SCOTUS ruling on Brown vs. The Board of Education, and the whole “all men are created equal” philosophy of the Declaration of Independence.

    If you’re using the hashtags “#imnotracist #imsickofthemcausingtrouble #itwasagatedcommunity”, you just might be a racist.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      I do agree this lady probably did deserve to be fired, based on this clause on page 54 of her school district’s employee handbook:

      “Standard 1.10. The educator shall be of good moral character and be worthy to instruct or supervise the youth of this state.”

      Her public comments would show her to be unworthy and not in a position to teach any Black kids who might end up in or may already be in her classroom, since her words show a potentially adversarial attitude toward these students, and she sets a poor moral example for ALL her students.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        In other words, although her words and feelings are personal, I can see how that personal attitude might adversely affect her ability to effectively perform her job duties as a teacher.

      • johngalt says:

        Her words and feelings ceased to be personal when she posted them to social media. Employers of all sorts are checking social media these days, particularly before hiring someone, and blatantly stupid or controversial things matter. In this case, this teacher demonstrated beyond any shadow of a doubt that she would not be an effective educator of black students. Nor, in fact, would I want her teaching my children, as it is hard to prevent that kind of attitude from subconsciously permeating her interactions with the rest of the students, no matter their race.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Not hard, JG. Impossible.

      • johngalt says:

        Can we compromise on “extremely improbable?”

      • fiftyohm says:

        Sure thing!

      • way2gosassy says:

        Well said Tutt and I totally agree.

    • BigWilly says:

      No

      No No

      No No No

      No No No No

      No No No No No

      Oh God! I think I’m having a crimethink, and that would be doubleplusungood.

      Fly=Chairman Mao. We will all be same. He will pick new enemy. Big Brother is watching us.

      The teacher’s opinion is but a mild fart in a windstorm. It means nothing and nobody should care. Instead you get all apoplectic.

      • flypusher says:

        Oh give your pear-clutching drama a rest. How dare anyone in academia be asked to justify an opinion on matters of history if it’s flying in the face of the facts. It’s oppression and brainwashing, I tell ya!!

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Given the screen name, it is possible that BW’s pearls are the size of pears!

        BW – given a previous post, it seems as though you would want to fire her for behaviors that indicate prejudice or discrimination, not for her racist thoughts. Is that fair?

        I would slightly argue that it was not her private thoughts that got her in trouble. It was the action of typing those words in a public forum that others could see.

        Let’s assume that she absolutely demonstrates no behaviors that would indicate she treats Black children any differently than other children and that they receive the same quality (or lack thereof) education as every other child.

        The counter argument would be that she has lost the trust of parents (Black parents especially, but I wouldn’t trust her to teach my children either), and if the parents cannot trust that you will teach effectively, then the school probably had to act.

        However, let’s play that further, and slowly drift a little closer to BW’s side of thinking.

        There are plenty of parents that would absolutely lose the ability to trust a teacher who happened to come out as gay on Facebook. Even though there is no actual behaviors (or even thoughts in this case) that the teacher is trying to “turn the kids gay”, the parents insist that the gay teacher be removed.

        Those of us on the left would politely point out that those parents are idiots and need to shut the heck up. Being gay doesn’t affect your ability to teach children.

        BW might argue that being a racist doesn’t affect your ability to teach children (assuming you demonstrate no behaviors that treat Black kids any differently from White kids).

        I think the school could more easily fire her for the “Don’t be an idiot and embarrass us on social media” grounds.

      • BigWilly says:

        Contextualize-to put (a linguistic element, an action, etc.) in a context, especially one that is characteristic or appropriate, as for purposes of study. Writing is a contextualization.

        I see segregation as being the rule in human societies. You might have egalitarianism and peace, land, and bread for a few years, but ultimately it seems that the new order becomes the old order.

        OMG-I have a BW interpreter. I’m not Rain Man!

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Man…I’m drifting over to BW’s side in an argument, and then he goes and tosses in a pro-segregation argument.

        For many years, wiping your butt with leaves was the the rule of human societies, but we have found Charmin Ultra Soft.

        Writing is a contextualization. Sure.

        Writing on Facebook is broadcasting. Writing on Facebook and broadcasting with the possibility of embarrassing your employer.

        No one is proposing electro-shock therapy to keep her from having these thoughts, and i do not believe the government is placing her in chains. I think she wrote stuff that embarrassed her employer, and her employer fired her.

      • BigWilly says:

        Pro-segregation? I’m not sure. Jim Crowe laws are, to me anyway, the rather odd ways in which a society fails itself by failing someone who is not a member. My train of thought is choo-chooing down the track of relativity.

        So you might be very specific in your understanding of the word segregation. It conjures certain images and other words when you hear or see it. I understand the left brain thinking regarding the word, but I allow myself to un-know it and re-understand it.

        For example: I’m working on a cost segregation study for my employer. We are segregating the assets contained by the building from the building. You would be surprised at how much money we can wring out of a building by separating toilets, stalls, urinals, sinks, etc.

        Is a non-coed environment also an aspect of segregation? Is it wrong for boys and girls to be segregated from each other in an educational environment?

        How about magnet schools. Are they an example of voluntary, and effective, segregation?

        Nonetheless the traditional method of segregation, as you (pl) understand it is not the best outcome for any society. We need to have basic universal literacy, and basic universal proficiency in STEM. I might add that a liberal arts back ground is enriching as well.

        The mandatory homosexual indoctrination…for real?

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        I’m pleased for you that you can allow yourself to open your brain to the essence of segregation, and it must be fun to exist on a plane where in a post about racial issues, you can think of urinals and buildings.

        Now that I have allowed myself to un-know my myopic understanding of the word with your guidance, I’ve come to realize the our school teacher friend in North Texas likely was re-understanding the word segregation when she wrote: “I’m going to just go ahead and say it … the blacks are the ones causing the problems and this ‘racial tension.’ I’m almost to the point of wanting them all segregated on one side of town so they can hurt each other and leave the innocent people alone.”

        I mean, she ended her posting with, #imnotracist and #imsickofthemcausingtrouble, so clearly her brain is working on a plane unconstrained by normal human thought patterns (and evidently devoid of irony).

        But sure, it is my (our) darn left brain, limited understanding of the word that would make us think of racial segregation in a post about race and a teacher calling for segregation and saying “Maybe the 50s and 60s were really on to something.”

      • BigWilly says:

        I’ve paid so little attention to this stuff that I get my information primarily from this source. So I’ve not read any more than you’ve provided regarding this lady’s Facebook post. Even after reading bits and pieces about it I find myself wondering if this isn’t some kind of Onion hoax you’re playing on me.

        I have a long, long, list of things I have to contend with on a regular basis. Someone else’s racial issues are very close to the bottom.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      Fly, the only thing I might require before reconsidering the decision to fire her is a sworn statement from her saying that she wouldn’t let her personal feelings get in the way of her ability to teach Black kids or any other kids.

      • dowripple says:

        The damage is already done. If I were a parent of one of her students (white or black), I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t want her teaching them anymore. It wouldn’t matter to me what she signed…

      • Turtles Run says:

        Would that be enough for you? Seriously, you would allow a known racist teach your child as long as they say “I’m sorry, I promise not to let my personal feelings get in the way”.

        Unless you are a Borg it is dang near impossible to separate one’s emotions from any situation.

    • Crogged says:

      Is there anything “personal” about putting your own words below a picture of your face and real name on the bloody internet? She didn’t get fired for what she ‘thought’ but for what she was willing to type on a screen, ponder her spelling and grammar (my assumption-she is a teacher) and hitting the ‘enter’ button on the keyboard, despite the only fifty something times she was warned in teacher training to be careful of social media. Somebody will give her a second chance, because they won’t know what she ‘really’ thinks now.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Crogged, I guess you did not get the tongue in cheek part. Fly said she’d give this lady her job back if she could defend her statements about the benefits of segregation. All I care about is her personal prejudices getting in the way of her ability to teach, so any statements from her would have to pertain to that, if we are really going to bring her out for public questioning.

        As I posted above, I do think her personal prejudices might very well get in the way of her ability to perform her job, her teaching duties.

      • flypusher says:

        “Crogged, I guess you did not get the tongue in cheek part. Fly said she’d give this lady her job back if she could defend her statements about the benefits of segregation.”

        Yes, but I’m also operating by advice given to lawyers questioning witnesses in court- don’t ask a question you don’t already know the answer to. I personally can’t see any ethical, legal, or logical justification for her pro-segregation sentiment, but in the very unlikely event we’ve overlooked something, let her state her case. Hopefully that triggers some serious self examination. Of course those aren’t even her most egregious statements. The assumptions about educational attainment and who are the ones who start the trouble are the worst, IMO. Given that she was teaching 4th grade in public school, she’d have to have been teaching history to Black children. Even if you can believe that she could treat all her students fairly (and I totally share the doubts already expressed regarding that), what about the veracity of what she taught?

        My gut feeling is that she’s not a horrible person, but rather misguided and ignorant. Likely she doesn’t even have any personal animosity here. I get that vibe because I’ve met people like that. Some of my older relatives were like that.

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      Fly, I like your standards. I don’t think everyone who screws up should always be fired. Frequently, the person who made a big mistake is the right one to solve the problem. Experience matters, you see.

    • Crogged says:

      This ‘segregation’ we are speaking of wasn’t the unfettered right of an individual to hang out in whatever neighborhood (or bar-it is Friday) they can afford to choose, but unambiguous, codified, statutory and regulatory provisions enforced by courts and police regarding a fiction of ‘separate but equal’ facilities and a random ‘racial’ characteristics relying mostly on the color of skin.

      I was bussed as a child in the South, I know the ‘failure’ of integration-the entire fucking problem with being black in America was and is the other Americans who aren’t black and seemingly don’t have a clue about how to walk in other people’s shoes.

  2. BigWilly says:

    May your remarks live longly. I might mention, in passing, the passing of Ornette Coleman. The author of Free Jazz must be remembered as the Shape of Jazz to Come.

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      Free jazz can perplex me. More than once I’ve sought it out, only to become annoyed as the set went on.

      However, when I hear Coleman and friends on recordings, it is a much more positive experience.

      I suspect he started something that only a few musicians have the skills for — and I didn’t encounter them in my searchings.

      • BigWilly says:

        Ornette Coleman is challenging, to say the least. I remember listening to Lonely Woman with a friend (a great drummer, he’s out on the West Coast these days) and wondering “What on earth is this.”

        I’ve never really sat down with the CD and paper and pencil to try and count out the arrangement. I’m certain at some level there’s a structure, and usually the best way to determine what that structure is to take notes in increments until you’ve assayed the whole.

        It’s a double album and a double quartet with a quartet in each channel.

  3. 1mime says:

    Not precisely on point, but interesting article on defining race.

    Here’s a teaser: “We are becoming a more diverse society, but not a post-racial one. For that reason we cannot abandon ethno-racial categories. They register legacies of slavery, conquest and oppression that have enduring effects. They are still useful, to measure and redress inequalities.

    But we need to admit that these categories are at best rough approximations when it comes to understanding who we are becoming. Our society, transformed by immigration and new forms of assimilation, hasn’t yet developed the vocabulary to capture the nuanced realities of this evolution.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/11/opinion/the-myth-of-a-white-minority.html?emc=edit_ty_20150611&nl=opinion&nlid=41048410

    • 1mime says:

      We forget how much has been sacrificed for freedom and tyranny. This interactive piece focuses on WWII but I think it’s important to help us keep things in perspective. Peace doesn’t always come easily or quickly. It doesn’t always last. But it always exacts a tremendous human cost. My hope for mankind is that the oppressed of whatever gender, race, persuasion don’t lose hope, nor we, as we stumble along that path.

      http://kottke.org/15/06/the-fallen-of-world-war-ii

  4. RobA says:

    Relevent since we were discussing this just today. Seems that hail Mary move the Rice family used (some old rarely used legal manouever that allows citizens to ask a judge to order an arrest warrant) paid off as a judge did just that. It’s still up to the DA, but a recommendation from a judge and pretty straight forward video of the incident would make this awfully hard to ignore

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2015/06/11/tamir-rice-cop-charged-with-murder.html

    • 1mime says:

      Good find, Rob. Justice may be served yet for the policemen; sadly, it is too late for Tamir. I wish I had a quarter for every toy gun our kids played with. Cops and robbers was a daily neighborhood game. Just a game. They got to grow up.

      • RobA says:

        Yeah I never really peruse the daily beast, I just made it there accidentally.

        For a conservative blog there’s some surprisingly progressive articles on there, lots of attitudes similar to Lifers here, such as supporting gay rights and not denying science.

    • flypusher says:

      Have a trial, put the evidence out there, let a jury decide. This is so past due.

      • 1mime says:

        There are a lot of ways to foster injustice. Ignoring or delaying justice is a frequent tactic and it has worked too long. How can anyone wonder why Black people are so angry and disheartened? There are still “two Americas”. Like Lifer, I believe we are making progress, but man it’s taking so long! Our young will be our salvation as we can’t seem to save ourselves. For some, the truth is just too unpleasant.

      • RobA says:

        I believe there’s a famous quote that goes “justice delayed is justice denied”

        I forget who said it.

      • 1mime says:

        “Justice delayed is justice denied”….I forget who said it.

        All those who wait……

    • johngalt says:

      Unfortunately, the judge can force charges to be brought, but he cannot compel the DA to prosecute, so it will remain in limbo until someone in Cleveland has the stones to demand answers.

      • flypusher says:

        Is there a possible Federal case in the making? The Rice shooting isn’t an isolated incident.

  5. RobA says:

    Interesting take on the waning influence of religion :

    “The trend lines are as unmistakable as they are consequential. As the religious pig makes its way through the generational python—from the Silent Generation (b. 1928-1945) to Baby Boomers (b. 1946-1964) to Generation X (b. 1965-1980) to Older Millennials (b. 1981-1989) to Younger Millennials (b. 1990-1996)—the number of the faithful coming out the other end will inexorably diminish in both number”

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/06/pew-survey-religion-118834.html?hp=t3_r#.VXn6HHPMbqC

    • 1mime says:

      Somehow, I’m having trouble picturing what, exactly, is coming out the other end (-:

      I’ve seen some pretty vile evangelists but guess it’s better knowin’ ’em as adults than ….

      The end result is still pretty ugly.

  6. flypusher says:

    Here’s some public shaming that caused the right thing:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/06/11/1392388/-School-superintendent-drops-outrageous-charges-against-black-families-who-cheered-at-graduation

    I attended my niece’s graduation last weekend. There were no rules against cheering, but some jerkfaces brought airhorns and some of those blasts hurt. I asked my sister about why aren’t those things banned; she said that they were but people still brought them. No arrests or charges, though. You can have 3 guesses on the race of the offenders, and the 1st 2 don’t count.

    • RobA says:

      The blue people from Avatar?

    • Doug says:

      I also attended a graduation last weekend where horns were blown despite admonitions against that sort of thing. The perpetrators were not arrested, despite being black. So, based on our data set of three instances:
      1. Proportionately, blacks are about 15 times more likely to be jerkfaces at graduations.
      2. Blacks are infinitely more likely to be arrested for being jerkfaces, because whites never get arrested.

      • flypusher says:

        That’s some pretty fuzzy math you got going there.

      • goplifer says:

        No no no on, fly. Here’s how you land that line:

        There’s enough fuzz on that math to make a handlebar mustache.

        see?

      • unarmedandunafraid says:

        How about – Be careful with that fuzzy math, I got to close to my girlfriends sweater with my cigarette lighter and lit up the night like a strobelight. (Really happened. Fuzzy sweater wasn’t fuzzy wuz it).

  7. blusky1 says:

    How many times did me and my friends crash a party, or sneak into a pool,
    ~~~
    I keep seeing that same sentiment posted in forums discussing this incident and it’s left me with this feeling that I must have been the only kid in the country who never did those things. Speaking generally here, who wants to be somewhere where they are not wanted and have no right to be? Pools and parties are supposed to be fun right? Another common refrain is that they are just kids being kids and mouthing off to the cops should be expected. Again, not me. It’s not that I never had any interactions with the police as a teen but when I was unfortunate enough to find myself in that situation I was yes sir and no sir the whole way. When did that expectation of behavior change?

    • flypusher says:

      This kind of stuff can happen even in places where you are invited. Back in my younger, wilder, grad-school days, I had the experience of being at a party that was broken up by the cops. It was New Years Eve, and we were at our “After-party” (since our bar had to close at 2am), at a house rented by one of our fellow students. Around 4am or so the cops come in with guns drawn. I had a shotgun pointed at me. It turned out that someone had made a bogus complaint about “shots fired”. Now I don’t blame the cops for assuming the worst and being prepared for that. I absolutely do find fault with them for demanding that everyone leave even after they realized that there were no guns, and the complaint was wrong. Yes people did eventually disperse, but not without backtalk, believe me. The partygoers were overwhelming white, and I have no doubt that played a role in no one getting arrested, even the people were complaining.

      There were other grad student parties thrown at a rental house on Ralph street in Montrose that were legendary for one of the hosts getting into pretty regular screaming matches with the cops is the evenings wore on. The unspoken rules were as long as he didn’t set foot off the front porch, the cops couldn’t touch him, and even with some pretty high BACs he never made that mistake. Anyone want to guess his skin color?

    • goplifer says:

      A) Yes, you might be the only person who never did that. I have some great memories.

      B) Go back through the footage and show me someone “mouthing off” to the cops. This is what I mean when I describe this incident as a Rorschach.

      I see a lot of people standing on a sidewalk among a larger group of people walking away. There was no fire, no car crash, no police tape. No one was behaving in a remotely threatening manner.

      Did those people have a right to be at the pool? I don’t know. The video doesn’t show the officer making any effort to find an answer to that question. He seems content that he knows the answer by scanning the crowd. Your skin is your pool pass and vice-versa.

      If a cop treated my kid that way in response to the behavior I saw in that video, I would spend a great deal of my money and effort seeing discipline meted out. And it would be. But it wouldn’t, because the cops don’t treat my kid that way.

      When my kid was caught by police at the city park with his airsoft rifle, they called me to come pick him up. They didn’t pull a weapon. They didn’t cuff him. And when I showed up they were trying hard not to laugh. My kid is white and they assume he isn’t dangerous on first glance.

      Also, I didn’t get an avalanche of comments about my bad parenting (though in that case it would have been warranted). No one tisk-tisked about the way that ‘people like me’ need to rein in their kids.

      Oh, and no one shot him.

      • blusky1 says:

        I was just going by what the kid who shot the video said: “I think she was quote unquote running her mouth, and she has freedom of speech and that was very uncalled for him to throw her to the ground,” he said.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        I’m moderately sure at least a few kids were running their mouth because they are teenagers, and that is what teenagers sometimes do. Many of the kids I grew up with would have been running their mouth in that situation, especially with the way the idiot was running around and running his own mouth.

        Still, this wasn’t a melee, there was nothing about defying authority in that video. There was not a single weekend night in college or graduate school where there was not a much larger ruckus being made a dozen times over throughout town. Nary a gun drawn.

        Heck, in high school, the parking lot of the local Jack-in-the-Box (my town was classy like that) was filled with more people with worse behavior every Friday and Saturday night than what you see in that video.

        I’m a lily White dude who was a good kid, made good grades, and never got into trouble, and I’ve done worse that what we saw in the video. Nary a gun drawn on me.

      • blusky1 says:

        You know, come to think of it, I actually did crash a birthday party when I was in high school. It was at the Hilton hotel on I-10 in Beaumont. A girl’s parents had rented two adjoining rooms for her and her friends to have a little get together. There were wine coolers iced down in the tub and a cake, etc. The only problem was it wasn’t just me and my buddy crashing. There were a ton of kids in the rooms and roaming the hallway. Birthday girl who I did not know and don’t even think she went to my school, was sobbing uncontrollably (probably one too many wine coolers) asking who all these people she didn’t know were and why were they at her party. Out in the hallway, other hotel guests were raising their voices making it known that a) we needed to shut up b) that they were trying to get some sleep and c) they were going to call the cops. Overall, it was a rather unpleasant experience and our stay was short.

      • objv says:

        The fascinating thing about this story is that there are so many conflicting accounts. The short video clip Is disturbing but only showed a fraction of what was going on according to witnesses.

        “Police officers were first called to the scene about 7:15 p.m. (8:15 p.m. ET) Friday to respond to a disturbance at the Craig Ranch Community North Pool in the Dallas area. Several more calls came in reporting that juveniles at the pool were “actively fighting,” police said.

        McKinney Police Chief Greg Conley said officers at the scene “encountered a large crowd that refused to comply with police commands.” Eventually, 12 officers converged on the party…”

        http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/mckinney-texas-officer-leave-after-wild-pool-party-video-surfaces-n371281

        That’s the official account from police. Other witnesses saw the situation differently. Trying to find out exactly what happened and how racially motivated most of the incidents were is nearly impossible. Some things seem clear:

        1. The white woman who assaulted one teen and insulted the group was acting in a racist manner. No matter how provoking the teens had been, she as an adult should have been able to control herself.

        2. The police officer should also have been able to check his emotions when dealing with the circumstances. He completely lost his cool. Whether he was racist or not is open to interpretation.

        3. Smearing an entire community based on the actions of a few people makes no sense.

        4. Only approximately seven teens out of more than 100 caused problems. Only one of the residents is accused of hurling racial insults. Only one of 12 police officers is accused of using excessive force.

    • RobA says:

      Here’s the thing: “backtalk” “rudeness” or “disrespect” is not a crime, nor should it ever be in a free society.

      Now, if I’m dealing with cops, I tend to be polite and courteous, mostly because I want to be done with them as quick as possible. (And maybe that’s my prvilege showing. I haven’t had any negative encounters with cops. If my cousin had been detained and beaten up in the past, or I’d had 20 years of being hassled every time I went outside, I might feel differently)

      And yes, this girl was certainly mouthy and probably is a handful for her parents. BUT THAT’S NOT A CRIME!

      If a crime is not being commuted or suspected (and by th time this was filmed, I’d say it’s safe to assume.no arrests were warranted) the cops have absolutely no more authority then you or I. They’re job is to uphold the law, NOT act as the parents to the nation.

      It’s not an either/or thing. Like, it’s not like the girl was an innocent angel and the cop went way overboard OR the girl was being obnoxious and the cop was in the clear.

      From my perspective, the girl was obnoxious AND the cop went way overboard.

      And maybe it’s just me, but I consider abusive, power hungry, easily excitable cops to be a much more serious societal problem then snotty nosed 14 y/o girls.

  8. flypusher says:

    The court of public opinion is coming down on one of the combatants:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/06/10/1392082/-Woman-Involved-in-Starting-McKinney-Pool-Fight-Placed-on-Administrative-Leave-by-CoreLogic-Inc

    I don’t mind if she gets some public shame if she did act like that. I personally wouldn’t be trying to hound her out of her job unless there was proof that she discriminated there.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      I don’t like all the public shaming leading to harassment that goes on these days in the age of the internet. It’s just another form of frenzied, mob justice.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        And no, I am not defending this lady. I don’t like to see public shaming against anyone.

      • flypusher says:

        Public shaming is a double-edged sword. There are times when it is a kangaroo-court-lynch-mob thing. But there are also times when the guilty party would have faced no repercussions but for the pressure of that public opinion. That particular genii is out of the bottle; all anyone can do is think before one posts, remember that not all the facts come out at once, and try to abide by Wheaton’s Law.

        If an investigation shows that this woman threw the first punch, assault charges will be in order.

      • RobA says:

        Agree with fly on this

        Pubkic shaming is not unequivocally good OR unequivocally bad. There are plenty of examples of both.

        We all have to draw our own lines I guess. For me, anything said in private, no matter how outrageous, should be completely off limits. So, for example, the Donald Sterling incident. While I find his views repulsive and repugnant, they were sever meant to be in a pubkic forum and I think it’s wrong what happened to him.

        On the other hand, if someone makes a pubkic statement, on FB, or in the media or whatever, they should be prepared for the consequences of whatever that statement is

      • RobA says:

        The other thing too, I would be surprised if this was the company “bowing to pubkic pressure “. The woman’s name has been largely left out of it and as far as I know there’s no public outcry for her blood.

        More likely, it’s that her employer/employees don’t want anytjing to do with a racist piece of $hit (if that’s what she is. My guess is her colleagues have a sense of whether this is just who she is or if it was a one time, heat of the moment thing).

        I don’t think any private company should bow to public pressure on sometjing like a person’s livelihood. But i also don’t think a company should have any qualms with firing someone who doesn’t fit in with th companies goals and values. I can tell you right now, if I were an employ er and one of my employees did something like what she allegedly did, I wouldn’t want her anywhere near me or my business, whether there was public pressure or not.

        As America becomes increasingly more liberal, people are going to find certain views are going to be less and less welcome.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        But Rob, what if you make what you consider to be a totally innocuous, offhand statement, maybe an off-color joke, online, and I consider it offensive and round up all my friends and we take to insulting, humiliating, and harassing you to no end? We may think we are in the right, that you deserve everything you get.

      • flypusher says:

        “I’m going to just go ahead and say it … the blacks are the ones causing the problems and this ‘racial tension.’ I guess that’s what happens when you flunk out of school and have no education. ”

        The myopia is just breathtaking.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Just to be clear, I’m not referring to any specific comment that this lady or anyone else has made, only that anyone can run the risk of making an innocent, offhand comment and end up publicly shamed. It can happen to any of us.

      • flypusher says:

        “So, for example, the Donald Sterling incident. While I find his views repulsive and repugnant, they were sever meant to be in a pubkic forum and I think it’s wrong what happened to him.”

        That’s a tough case. Sterling associated with a very sleazy person, and that person turned on him. In CA that may be illegal ( I know in TX all that is needed is consent of one party being recorded) and if so, she should face charges. But I can’t blame the NBA here. Their business absolutely depends on the good will of the public, and no matter how that cat got out of the bag, it was out, and Sterling would have dragged the business down. People would have cancelled season tickets, coaches and players would have walked out. They were within their own set of rules to force the sale. Granted, this should have happened back when Sterling was found to be actually breaking the law with his racial discrimination in his business as a landlord, instead of over stupid racist comments made in private. I think part of it is that social media wasn’t as powerful then as it is now.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Sometimes shaming is called for, but it’s best done in private, by someone close to you. Or you may come to the realization on your own that you’ve done wrong and feel personal shame. No need for a pack of strangers to get involved.

      • flypusher says:

        “But Rob, what if you make what you consider to be a totally innocuous, offhand statement, maybe an off-color joke, online, and I consider it offensive and round up all my friends and we take to insulting, humiliating, and harassing you to no end? We may think we are in the right, that you deserve everything you get.”

        Here’s a very pertinent example:

        http://techcrunch.com/2013/03/21/a-dongle-joke-that-spiraled-way-out-of-control/

        The way I see it 1) If this is a private conversion between a few people, not directed at/ including you, you might be better off just letting it slide. You can’t dictate what is in people’s hearts and minds. If that joke had been part of a presentation, that could change things. 2) Alternatively you could try voicing your objections first in private to the people involved, before invoking the court of public opinion. 3) You need to understand the possible consequences of taking your case to the www. Read that tweet/post/e-mail through a few times before you click send. 4) Doxxing people is the nuclear option here. Is what they said really deserving of that?

      • Turtles Run says:

        Tutt – Is anyone here making such claims that someone that makes a private off-color comment should be publicly shamed in any fashion? Fly and Rob were pretty clear on their comments.

        I find these jerks are generally pretty good at letting the world know they are a$$holes. I could name a couple of ways they advertise themselves if you like.

      • johngalt says:

        What happened to Sterling was wrong? He made blatantly racist comments to his 50-year younger biracial mistress and was surprised when he screwed her over that she gave it right back. He was always known as an asshat, but when it became so public, the cartel to which he belonged decided its public image mattered more than his privacy “rights.”

      • RobA says:

        JG – I shouldn’t have said “wrong”. As Tutt said, the NBA had to act once the cat was out of the bag. Obviously what happened to Sterling wasn’t wrong.

        My point was, for me personally, I don’t think that private conversations that were never meant to be heard by the public should not ever be made public.

      • 1mime says:

        Then there’s the whole 57% remark………..

      • flypusher says:

        I have no doubt that if Sterling did not face sanctions, LeBron James would have refused to play this season, and plenty of other players would have joined him. Doc Rivers (the Clippers coach) absolutely would have resigned in protest. No way the NBA could avoid tossing Sterling under the bus for damage control.

      • flypusher says:

        “My point was, for me personally, I don’t think that private conversations that were never meant to be heard by the public should not ever be made public.”

        I agree with you on that point, and one V. Stiviano gets the blame there. Some karma came back to bite her as Mrs. Sterling took her to court and won back all the goodies her husband lavished on his mistress:

        http://touch.latimes.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-83301075/

        Mrs. Sterling is also a nasty piece of work who needs her own bit of karmic payback. Maybe that shoe will drop in the future. Basically this is a bunch of disgusting sleazy people backstabbing each other. Serves them all right.

    • RobA says:

      I don’t think anyone should lose their job unless what they said is diametrically opposed to them doing it.

      Exhibit A:

      http://www.salon.com/2015/06/11/im_almost_to_the_point_of_wanting_them_all_segregated_texas_teacher_pens_breathtakingly_racist_mckinney_post/

      Now if she’s a teacher at an all white private school, then whatever. But if she’s a pubkic teacher, how can you allow her to keep working? If you were black and your 4th grade child was going ti be in her class next year, how would you feel?

      Textbook delusions of the far right wing. “I’m not racist, I just think blacks should be segregated “.

      There’s this serious cognitive dissonance going on with race. Most people consider themselves good people. And most people understand that racism (at least in theory ) is bad. Therefore, most racists do not consider themselves racist because they can’t make a connection between what they say and their dramatized idea of what a “real” racist is. I their minds since they’re not part of the KKK and aren’t lynching black folks, then they can’t possibly be racist.

      • BigWilly says:

        Yes, of course, the criminal must be brought to justice for contextualizing a thought. It’s even better than that in the RobA world wherein I can become a criminal by accidentally thinking the wrong thoughts.

        You should be addressing prejudice, not racism. If you think about it prejudice might save your life one day, even if it inconveniences someone else on every other day.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Always fun to see someone defending a public school teacher who thinks Blacks should be segregated.

        Granted, this utopio only has 3% Blacks to begin with, but as a public school teacher, you’ve just lost your ability to have some parents trust that you will give a quality education.

        However, I’m thinking of starting a straw business, and if we can get customers like you, we may just turn a profit given all the strawpeople (hey 50!) you are building with discussion of criminalization and thinking the wrong thoughts.

      • BigWilly says:

        Destroying America’s large cities with the stroke of a pen, desegregation. A failed policy that produced exactly the opposite of its intent. Instead of desegregation we have hyper segregation. I witnessed it in person in Milwaukee. Drive around town and you can see it, you don’t have to be an archeologist, it used to be great. Now its a fkng dump.

        You think that kind of environment calls for sensitive, people friendly, cops? Look what’s happened on Baltimore. The cops pull out and the place goes to hell overnight.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        There might be some who would suggest that their side of the desegregated line was a fkng dump before desegregation.

        I won’t argue that lots of places royally screwed up the process, but the 1950s and 1960s were not necessary all that whiz-bang keen for a big chunk of the population.

        if you think that kind of environment calls for insensitive, people unfriendly, cops, well just look at Baltimore…

      • johngalt says:

        Well bless your heart BW. You write the first post in months that is actually comprehensible and it is reprehensible. I’m so happy that your youth was unsullied by having to see the products of racism and segregation. How nice that you never had to see the wrong side of the tracks. How nice that you lived in a neighborhood where banks would lend to people who wanted to buy the houses in which they lived, rather than having to rent them from predatory landlords. I’m sure your school was well-maintained and well-equipped, too, like most of those in your district. You probably fondly remember the police officer who helped you home after your bike accident.

        When the absolute best interpretation for someone’s post is that they are naive and willfully ignorant, that’s not really a compliment.

      • BigWilly says:

        What you lack in interpolative skills you compensate for by? I did the single parent thing before it was fashionable in a small city in Indiana. We lived in a rented house on Fulton St. and I had many, many, nightmares there. I even got to experience, first hand, living with an undiagnosed untreated person with both manic depression and bi-polar syndrome.

        What you really need to get you right is random beatings without cause. It’s a miracle that I’m not dead or doing hard time, because that’s usually the result of the type of “upbringing” I’ve endured.

        Your Gods should show you as much love.

      • 1mime says:

        That type of childhood scars deeply, BW. Good for you that you found a better life.

      • unarmedandunafraid says:

        BW – You are right about desegregation and the plight of the cities. Although, some hollowing of the cities might have happened anyway, just because we could purchase new cars and new highways were built to the green suburbs.

        As blacks asked for a more fair life, I remember saying “wait, this won’t happen quickly”. I didn’t know that MLK was saying, “Why We Can’t Wait”. Now its obvious we were right not waiting. Even with the contortions and pain we have all gone through.

        I had a similar childhood. I have done the ironing cord minuet. And then when protesting my innocence was told, “I know you did something today to deserve it”. Your phrase “Your Gods should show you as much love” fits. I was being shown gods love. Spare the rod.

        Theres more crazy terrible things, but BigWilly, what if we were black too.

    • unarmedandunafraid says:

      Someone once said that what we lack now and need more of is public shame. Good old fashioned shame. Small town, pre-electronic society was held together by the fear of being shamed, said this writer. Sorry I can’t remember the author’s name. Does social media engender this same fear? I am not very active on FB or twitter so I don’t have a good feel.

      I have a feeling what would once cause us shame, some would now welcome. And bask in the attention.

  9. Some of those “black” kids had been officially invited by residents – or were residents themselves

    If they were invited or lived there – what right did the policeman have to tell them to leave?

    And in the USA would they have to obey his orders?
    If a cop told me to leave my house would I have to obey him?

    • johngalt says:

      Technically, no. But if the police thought they had “probable cause” to believe a crime was being committed (say, criminal trespass, which might have fit this situation), they could arrest individuals. If those individuals could demonstrate that they had legal rights to be there, then they would not be charged or prosecuted.

      Same for leaving your house. If a cop had a warrant for your arrest, yes, they could forcibly remove you. If they had probable cause to believe a crime was being committed (for instance your neighbor calling to report screaming), they could enter and investigate and arrest you if there was evidence for a crime. In some cases, such as domestic disturbances, they will strongly advise one party to vacate the premises and it would be a good idea to listen to them.

  10. flypusher says:

    Good. I expect the person with the badge and the gun and the mandate to use justified force to be the ADULT in such a situation. If your response to a kid giving you some back talk is to go that violent, you don’t have the self control needed for that job. Have the bully cops still failed to grok that there are smart phones and security cameras pretty much everywhere, and they’re really pushing their luck if they don’t start taking some chill pills? Keep recording, citizens, it has to sink in eventually.

    I agree that the aftermath looks like it could end well. But the Tamir Rice case, damn!!!!! What possible legitimate excuse could there be for dragging this out so long?? I sure can think of plenty of illegitimate ones!!!

    • 1mime says:

      I agree, Fly. The Tamir Rice case is an abomination. Justice is being denied to the family of this young boy and, it’s not like Tamir’s death is just going to disappear if they ignore it. There is no excuse for authorities to not act.

    • fiftyohm says:

      ” What possible legitimate excuse could there be for dragging this out so long??” – FP

      Legitimate? Absolutely none. Excuse? I think Chris had a pretty damn convincing argument in the post.

      • flypusher says:

        Definitely Chris has a valid point. It’s one of the examples of how the unions have lost their way, in uncritically defending their members, even when those members deserve to be thrown under the bus. I’m just curious about how the Cleveland officials are going to insult everyone’s intelligence.

    • RobA says:

      I served in the infantry for 6 years. Several of my friends from there have gone on to become cops.

      We’ve talked about how certain jobs disproportionately attract certain personality types. We all noticed that in the infantry there were more power hungry sociopaths with an axe to grind then in the general population. My friends say this is even more pronounced in the police force.

      Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a strong minority. Just disproportionate. So if you had, say, 2% of this people in general population, maybe there 5-10% in the police.

      I don’t want to seem like all cops are bad, or even most. But is undeniable that a higher percentage of these flawed personalities are in these jobs. And of course they are. If your full of impotent rage and/or get off on lording power over others, what better job for you? You don’t even have to EARN your power and fear, it comes inherent.

      In my opinion, it’s a disservice to the majority of really good cops to pretend like this subsection of them don’t exist.

      And you’re right, sooner or later, these bad cops are gonna figure it out. The tech genies out of the bottle. They’re only going to get MORE scrutiny, not less.

    • RobA says:

      Yeah Tamir Rice case is nuts.

      What more do you need to “investigate”? There’s almost literally no context OTHER then what was in the tape.

      Un like most of these things (like Mckinney, for example) the beginning of the incident isn’t filmed so we’re potentially missing out on some crucial context.

      In this case, the tape shows the entire event. If the DA in Baltimore can bring charges in a few weeks in THAT case, this one should have been a few hours.

      My guess is, they hoping it just goes away and the family accepts their fate, like black people historically have always done.

      The national spotlight on police abuse lately has ensured that won’t happen though.

  11. BigWilly says:

    Not unlike the rape scare, the Ebola scare, the Chicago scare, and the New York Minute, I wonder to what end is this occurring? To what end?

    With most of these crises the most important thing to realize is that they aren’t. The media picks and chuses which crisis to present to the public. It’s an awful charade, and it makes me want to go into the snake oil biz because of the immense gullibility of the American public.

    I can’t believe you’re not buying gold and stockpiling weapons. I mean if you’re capable of extrapolating WC+BP=MORDOR why not take the next logical step in anti-authoritarian paranoia. G’head.

    I think we should have a Dirty Harry/Death Wish film festival. Celebrate the other side of the non-objective coin and let the bad guys get what they got comin’.

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      Rapes committed = Ebola cases?

      You definitely have the Republican gift for fuzzy math.

      • BigWilly says:

        See, I hadn’t even conceived that one. I’m impressed.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        I’m normally pretty impressive, so it is fun for people to recognize it.

        It is just the second or third time you’ve brought up the “rape scare”, and I’m spoiling for a fight about it. However, that probably is not the healthiest mindset to have in any circumstance (much less one in which I really don’t know your thoughts behind the phrase).

      • BigWilly says:

        Don’t go all Freud on me. Hopefully it just reveals what caught my attention before I was distracted by something else, like dinner.

      • 1mime says:

        Big Willy – You are so funny!

  12. ron19 says:

    Extremely bias and no useful information in this piece.

  13. Tom says:

    If there’s something that is being missed here, it’s that that neighborhood is actually fairly diverse.

    A cursory look shows that the high school this subdivision is zoned to is 49% white, with significant numbers of blacks, Hispanics, and Asians. The neighborhood elementary school has similar demographics.

    This more than likely was not a group of “outsiders.” The teenagers involved quite likely lived close by. Some of them probably even lived in the neighborhood.

    In this setting, it would have been more bizarre if the party had been all-white.

    • goplifer says:

      Careful with school demographics. They are usually radically different than neighborhood demographics because minority communities have a much lower average age. They also fail to account for the portion of the community not enrolled in public schools. For an example of this effect, look at the demographics for the high school that covers River Oaks in Houston.

      If that neighborhood is only half white it would have to be only one like it in McKinney. According to census records (and my memory), McKinney is almost 85% white.

      • Tom says:

        On the other hand, they are probably not radically different from the demographics of the teenagers in the neighborhood.

        From my memory that area probably does not have that many kids who are not enrolled in public schools — River Oaks is an extreme case where there a very large portion of kids in private schools (and also HISD’s rather loose intradistrict transfer policy means that the schools often draw students who don’t live nearby.) To my recollection neither of these factors is in play here.

      • objv says:

        Here’s what one of the black residents said about the situation. (Warning: Watching Hannity might turn some stomachs here. The resident’s story starts after a minute or so.)

        http://video.foxnews.com/v/4284446539001/witness-describes-controversial-mckinney-pool-party-arrest/?playlist_id=930909813001#sp=show-clips

      • 1mime says:

        The incident occurred at Craig Ranch. This is a gated upscale residential community designed around a TPC golf course . I cannot vouch for the neighborhoods surrounding it, but when our son lived there, it was predominantly white.

      • Tom says:

        1mime: McKinney, in fact, had a housing desegregation suit filed a few years ago based on the city concentrating low-income housing on the east side of the city (Craig Ranch is on the west side.) The Census tract is now 75 percent white. Before the desegregation suit, the west side of the city was over 90 percent white.

        It is not too difficult to figure out what is going on here. A formerly almost all-white neighborhood is now, slowly but surely, diversifying, and some residents are not happy about it.

  14. 1mime says:

    Lifer, I am the last one to second guess what happened in McKinney, but, why would these black teens knowingly go into a majority white town to a private pool? Do we know if they were invited? It seems to me that there was poor judgment on the black teens’ part even tho the policeman certainly acted improperly. Your thoughts?

    • Tom says:

      Why shouldn’t they?

      It seems highly unlikely that they were not invited. It also seems highly unlikely that a group of white teenagers from outside the neighborhood would have been viewed with this much suspicion by the residents.

    • goplifer says:

      I’m pretty sure we can all agree that black children ought to feel the same right to use public facilities as their peers of other races, regardless of the demographics of a particular neighborhood. Am I missing something here?

      • objv says:

        Lifer, from what I’ve read, the party was at a private subdivision’s pool in a racially diverse neighborhood. Residents were limited to two guests at a time. Somewhere around 137 showed up. The teens were jumping the fence to get to the pool and the security guard had to call police. The first officer to arrive had just responded to two suicide calls. In no way does that excuse the officer’s actions toward the teenagers but it does indicate that he was already emotionally stressed.

        Yes, he lost it. No argument there. He should have waited for the other officers to arrive. But, wasn’t there fault on both sides? The female teenager had been told to leave the area more than once and refused. I don’t think that she should have been wrestled to the ground, but she should have left the area as she was first ordered.

        I am completely against targeting minorities, but my worry is that when police lose authority, mayhem results. I’m curious as to what my fellow commenters think are appropriate actions police are allowed to take in situations where there is noncompliance.

      • Tom says:

        objv, what is your working definition of “noncompliance”? Should civil rights activists in the ’60s have simply gotten up from the lunch counter when ordered to do so?

        The working assumption seems to be that the teens had no right to be there. If this is not the case, why should compliance with an officer’s demands be necessary? The civic value of compliance with the police assumes that the police are performing their mission to serve and protect. Who exactly was being served and protected here?

      • 1mime says:

        Lifer, more commentary below, but my question dealt with whether or not this was a private pool. I clearly understand the whole bigoted segregated public pool thing.

      • flypusher says:

        ” I’m curious as to what my fellow commenters think are appropriate actions police are allowed to take in situations where there is noncompliance.”

        From what I could see of the various videos, the other cops weren’t having these noncompliance issues. Of course they were actually talking to the kids in a much calmer and polite manner, and not slamming anyone into the ground either.

      • Turtles Run says:

        objv – If you watch the video of Cpl Casebolt’s actions you will see that there were other officers at the scene. There was no mayhem or disrespectful kids. The video starts with two youths returning a dropped flashlight to the police officers. The main officer at the beginning of the video starts with one officer who is addressing the kids in a professional manner and the kids are acting in a respectful manner. Even when the Corporal is shown pushing one young man to the ground, the young man is still using “sir” to the officer. Hardly the hardcore thugs I have seen some people describe these teenagers.

        “The first officer to arrive had just responded to two suicide calls. In no way does that excuse the officer’s actions toward the teenagers but it does indicate that he was already emotionally stressed.”

        If it does not excuse his behavior why mention it. Police deal with stressful situations all the time but that does not mean he gets a pass.

        “I’m curious as to what my fellow commenters think are appropriate actions police are allowed to take in situations where there is noncompliance.”

        The actions that the other officers took. To deal with the situation in a calm rational manner. The only person risking turning this situation into a dangerous one is the officer that lost his cool.

      • RobA says:

        I believe that there were prob too many kids. But that’s pretty basic teenaged shenanigans. Ho many times did me and my friends crash a party, or sneak into a pool, or play with toy guns? A lot.

        Not saying that’s right or anytjing. Just that it’s what kids do. We never once were worried about being shot by cops or thrown to thw ground and cuffed.

        That’s what they mean when they use the term “white privilege”. It means you’re biggest worry about getring into regular mischief is your parents finding out, not a bullet in your spine.

        I am only now opening my eyes to what this “provilege” thing means. It’s so subtle we white people don’t notice it. And yet, it looms as large as a skyscraper to scores of black kids all over America.

        I don’t think most white people are racist. I DO think we take our privilege for granted and that’s where this whole “well, if they didn’t want X to happen, they shouldn’t ha e been doing X”.

        In their minds, the kids HAD to be doing sometjing worse then what we saw or else they wouldn’t have been treated like that. And in their world, that’s a logical assumption. But for lots of these black kids, they AREN’T doing anything more then being black.

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      I grew up about 30 miles from McKinney, and as a poor person with no pool in hot Texas summers, the neighborhood kids and I crashed just about any pool that I could, including the pool at the seedy Ramada Inn next to the highway. My hometown was not fancy enough to have gated communities with pools, but we certainly would have crashed those if they existed.

      With that said, this seems like it was a party (probably unauthorized party) to which folks were invited (although probably less than formerly).

      There is absolutely no chance it goes down this way if those kids are White.

      I’m not shocked by poor judgment of teenagers (of any color), and going to a pool party is not going to crack my top 1000 of stupid things teenagers do.

      I’m old and things certainly were different in my youth, but there was more than one scattering of teenagers when the police arrived, and none of those resulted in an officer pulling a gun, tackling anyone, or doing a shoulder roll as he chased someone.

      • objv says:

        Homer, the problem is that the teenagers didn’t scatter. They were openly defiant and wouldn’t leave. Again, that doesn’t mean I think the officer could pull out a gun or tackle the girl.

        Let’s say that you, your wife and the little guys were at a private pool at a subdivision and 137 kids (of any race) decided to take over the neighborhood pool. Wouldn’t you be concerned? 137 extra people at the pool would be a safety nightmare that could leave the subdivision open to a lawsuit if anything happened to one of the teenagers.

      • Turtles Run says:

        OBJV – Yes, but why were the actions of the people that started the fight at the party over looked. Isn’t their actions more dangerous? They started insulting these teenagers with racial taunts and physical violence bet instead the only people that seem to be in the wrong are the kids involved. These people need to also be held responsible and shouldn’t the women that attacked the teen age girl be arrested for assault. Don’t you agree these people were more responsible for by creating a physical confrontation than these kids.

        I will admit the teenagers were wrong for throwing an impromptu party at the pool but they were not the ones creating a hostile environment.

      • objv says:

        Turtles, not much time to write tonight but I completely agree that the racial taunts and the physical assault were inexcusable.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        And Obj…this is the exact Rorschach test.

        You are trying awfully hard not to see race in this, as though the exact thing would have happened of kids of any race. It wasn’t that they were Black, it was just that there were so darn many of them

        In terms of scattering versus open defiance (interesting interpretation of open defiance you have with regard to the kids in the video), our officer friend spent the first half of that video running (and rolling) around chasing kids who were running.

        Then, he runs up to the kids calmly talking to the other officers and yells at them for leaving when he told them to sit and stay.

        It should go without saying, regardless of scattering or being “openly defiant” (by standing around as an idiot with a gun runs around like an idiot) or by smart-mouth back-talking, the officer went so far over the line that he wouldn’t be able to see the line from where he is standing.

        If this open defiance and back-talking can be handled by most 8th grade teachers with a raised eyebrow and a stern look (without the need to brandish a firearm), I’m thinking the officer might have some issues that might suggest he should find a different line of work.

    • fiftyohm says:

      Mime – Are you being ironic here? McKinney has about the same percentage of their population of black kids as the country at large. Why couldn’t there have been a birthday party? Would it have been unusual for a white kid to invite some black friends? C’mon, pal. Rorschach, indeed!

      • 1mime says:

        Gee, folks, I inadvertently stirred up a hornet’s nest! All of you know me for the bleeding heart liberal that I am, so I share your disgust with the poor judgement displayed by the policeman and the horrible treatment of the black teenagers. And, no doubt, if it was a group of white teens who showed up at a private pool, they might have been asked to leave but certainly not treated as these black kids were. There was absolutely no justification for the two white female adults to behave the way they did, either. A different standard was applied to these black teens. That cannot be allowed and to the credit of McKinney authorities, it did not go without consequence.

        It was not clear to me from the description as to whether these kids crashed a private pool with an invitation or not. (Rob’s link was blanked out by youtube so I couldn’t see the actual video.) Poor judgement or not, this is way down the list of stupid things kids do, as Homer pointed out.

      • 1mime says:

        Fifty, my friend, I have walked the walk regarding bigotry and racism, so my record and my actions are “in sinc”. I was trying to understand the full import of what was involved in the incident since I couldn’t view the Vox video link. In our community, these “flash” teen parties have caused many concerns. Police are called. Frequently outside people join in and the sheer number of people milling around can lead to some bad consequences.

        I’m glad Objv provided the Fox link of the interview of the black resident. (Did I really just say that?! Ob, mark that down!) He provided a fair, clear explanation of what happened and it helped me better understand what went down. I hope all will view it. The policeman handled himself (and the kids) very unprofessionally, and he is paying the price for that. Thankfully, a tragedy didn’t occur. Hopefully lots of lessons were learned by all – including local law enforcement, the teens and their parents. McKinney authorities handled the situation well.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Mime, what got my attention was your comment that the kids used poor judgment in crashing a private party IN AN ALL-WHITE NEIGHBORHOOD.

        If they truly were uninvited, then crashing ANY private party would have been a sign of poor judgment.

        You imply that Black kids should know better than to do something that might upset White people.

        But no matter. I know your heart is in the right place, and maybe you didn’t mean what you said. I think all of us, even the most liberal among us, will occasional say things that betray certain deep-seated prejudices within us. We are only human, after all. Overall, we are good, decent people.

      • 1mime says:

        My thought was poorly phrased. With all of the racial tension we have now, it just seemed a risky move for the teens. Summer celebrations aside, sheer numbers of people converging on a small area could risk turning out badly. I certainly did not intend to ever project that black children (or adults) should be kept from any public pool. This was a private pool and has rules which the promoters of the event clearly knew and ignored. Thank you for understanding my “intent” as it is obvious from the comments that I inferred a racial bias that I clearly don’t believe.

      • RobA says:

        I think, mime, they are two seperate things.

        The narrative seems to be either a) the one cop used extreme lack of judgement and is probably not emotionally stable enough to be a good cop OR b) the kids shouldn’t have been there and therefore whate er happened is their fault.

        I would say it’s both (with the exception of the “deserved what they got” part).

        The kids prob WERNT all invited and shouldn’t have been there. But the cop was absolutely in thw wrong regardless.

      • 1mime says:

        Agree, Rob, but I don’t believe I ever intimated that the kids deserved what they got, only that they used poor judgement. As a parent and grandparent, I’ve been there. You hope that the worst outcome is that it is a good learning experience that they won’t repeat – just lots of others (-:

      • RobA says:

        Definitely Mime. I would never imply you were saying the “go what they deserved” part.

        I’m familiar enough with your politics to know you wouldn’t have said that 🙂

  15. IMHO, the officer’s conduct was unprofessional, and the situation could easily have escalated to tragedy. Firearms are *not* crowd control devices; no firearm should ever leave the holster unless it’s for immediate use in a situation that calls for deadly force. That situation, while chaotic, did not meet that criteria. (And the officer’s own conduct contributed to the chaos.) With respect to the officer’s pistol brandishing, LE holsters are equipped with retention devices to make it difficult for an assailant to take an officer’s weapon and use it on it’s owner. Once that firearm is out of the holster in a melee situation, all bets are off. Even if the officer retains control of the weapon, the opportunities for negligent discharge in such a situation are boundless. In my view, the McKinney police chief made the right call.

    There are many who will point out the officer was in danger of assault. He was, but that does not justify his conduct, nor should he have put himself into the situation he found himself in the first place. LEOs are *trained* (or should be) to assess and deal with such situations, and are therefore held to a higher code of conduct. Frankly, were it not for the recent spate of high profile incidents in other cities, this would have been a non-news event; the officer would have been quietly sent packing, and that would be that.

    • 1mime says:

      Tracy – Good analysis and I’m glad you feel that way, but even with the recent “spate of high profile incidents in other cities”, I don’t share your optimism that the officer would have been sent packing. That’s part of the problem. Thank goodness for video capability to keep incidents like these honest.

      • “That’s part of the problem.”

        Perhaps, 1mime. My uncle was a Phoenix motor cop for many years, so I have a different take on that community. The LE community is very insular and takes care of its own; I have no doubt that many things they regard as “no harm / no foul” are allowed to slide. (And their definition of “no harm / no foul” might be just a tad different from yours.) Incompetence doesn’t fall into that category. A cop who is incompetent or who displays poor judgement is not only a danger to himself and the public, but even more importantly, a danger to other cops. That kind of officer is not tolerated for very long. I watched some of the video and my first reaction was that the officer was unable to govern himself effectively, let anyone around him. He was not in control of himself, therefore he had no hope of effectively controlling the situation. Nobody wants to be around *that* guy.

    • RobA says:

      I don’t think that cop was ever in da Germany of assault. They were kids in bathing suits. They all looked terrified, and the only time one of them stepped up, it looked like a natural reaction that ANYONE should have at seen a 14 y/o brutalized by an adult.

      There were several other cops there that would have had their partners back. And those other cops certainly didn’t perceive any threats, as evidenced by their calm and casual chatter.

      There’s this idea that black kids are uncontrollable deviants just itching to cause violence to someone. That’s wrong.

      Are these black kids so murderous that they would attack and try to KILL a cop, in broad daylight, with dozens of eyewitnesses, video evidence AND several other cops nearby?

      The calculation of survival in such a situation would be approximately 0%. Are these black kids so murderous that they would give up their lives be a use their just SO out of control at being tossed from a pool party?

      With a few significant exceptions, that’s just not how human beings behave, of ANY race.

  16. irapmup says:

    While concurring with your assessment why does an underlying political message that seems somewhat questionable resonate? To my untrained, but observant eye two of the officers and the administration responded in a genuinely human way which it seems to me you are implying is not possible given the obdurate and constraining nature of unionized forces in the north.

    If in fact Cleveland, Baltimore, New York and Chicago were unfettered from union control do you really think the administrative response would have been any different? My sense is that the attention being brought forward thanks to documentation of egregious actions is the real reason for any restraint and now inevitable change.

    I certainly don’t mean to imply that our police departments are monolithic and controlled by less than open minded administrators, but until the light of truth as shone by citizen documentation was brought into focus there was little people who man the first line of defense that our police forces represent could do to curtail bad behavior within their ranks. Public awareness through public documentation works to free reasonable policing and is doubtless being accepted, integrated and welcomed by the vast majority of our citizen police force.

    Open airing of police behavior is freeing officers to do their job in the professional and courteous manner that is fast approaching. It is well beyond misfortune that many in the predominately minority communities have suffered a form of martyrdom at the hands of the most bigoted and intolerant in our society; an awful, immeasurable price paid for those of us not touched by the finality of death to see the light.

    We will all welcome the day and be better citizens when it is no longer “us and them”.

    • 1mime says:

      Irapmup – ALL politics is local.

    • goplifer says:

      Um. No.

      Police in Cleveland and Chicago and New York are overwhelmingly professional and responsible. What the incident in McKinney points out, in the form of the city’s response to the incident, is how institutional forces impact the ability to impose discipline on those who are not professional and responsible.

      And it is easier to do that in Texas because of the power relationships between the institutions involved. Texas police officers do have a union. Their union representation has no authority anywhere approaching that enjoyed by public employee unions in older parts of the country. That same dynamic applies to all unionized public employees in those places. In fact, it may be slightly less severe in police forces, because of the attention they receive, than it is in the schools.

      Do you not find it strange that these most severe incidents almost never happen in the South, where the racial history is much worse and the racial gap between police and the communities they serve is so much wider?

      In Baltimore we saw a black police chief, a black mayor, and a black attorney general along with a Democrat-dominated state government stonewalled for weeks in an attempt to investigate shocking abuses by cops of many different racial and ethnic backgrounds. It is nearly impossible to terminate a public employee in these places for even the most outrageous abuses. Race is only an issue here because of the fact that blacks are most powerless against these institutions.

      Race isn’t the reason these abuses are so difficult to address. Imbalances is institutional power are the core problem. You cannot start dealing with those imbalances until you take an honest look at the role of public employee unions in politics in older parts of the country.

      • 1mime says:

        Lifer, how do you explain the long history of misconduct in the Harris County Prosecutor’s office if not one of long cover-up and discrimination? The new D.A. is doing a good job but from what I have read over the years, there is a very “checkered” past of justice meted out through this office.

      • RobA says:

        Cleveland in that list as well? Didn’t the Justice Dept come out with an incredibly scathing report on policing in Cleveland?

    • Lenoxus says:

      I think it’s possible you and goplifer are both partly right. To bring about a minimum of accountability, you need both a new wave of national attention to the problem and a department that is, one way or another, less powerful (or specifically, is genuinely subservient to another authority).

      In the absence of the new attention, there would be no change in McKinney. But in its presence, the leaders can act without their hands tied, if only to save face. (It’s been pointed out in several places that the officer who resigned will probably be able to find work somewhere else.)

      Do you not find it strange that these most severe incidents almost never happen in the South, where the racial history is much worse and the racial gap between police and the communities they serve is so much wider?

      Your point about unions is sharp, but this seems ignorant. The severe incidents anywhere are only now coming to light (and/or to national focus, at least), and we hardly have enough headliners to make that kind of analysis.

      However, population density seems like a nontrivial factor — it can mean more police in general, more bystanders to document with their phones, etc. Not to mention that if an area is bad enough, people may be more afraid to report anything (or just resign themselves to the futility of it). It certainly seems like many, many families have lost children to cop shootings and didn’t see the use of seeking justice. (But I’ll grant that this may be the case more in the North than in the South.)

      • Lenoxus says:

        For clarity: My first sentence should have read “I think it’s possible irapmup and goplifer are both partly right.”

      • flypusher says:

        “I think it’s possible you and goplifer are both partly right. To bring about a minimum of accountability, you need both a new wave of national attention to the problem and a department that is, one way or another, less powerful (or specifically, is genuinely subservient to another authority).”

        I think that we need independent civilian review boards yesterday. I also think it’s absolutely scandalous that we don’t have a national, comprehensive database of incidents where police have used force. How can you address a problem if you haven’t accurately defined that problem? Fortunately there are people now working on collecting that data.

  17. johngalt says:

    I see something else in that video that has more long-term ramifications. The unfortunate girl being manhandled is terrified of the officer. She’s not terrified in an “I’m in trouble” sense, of being scared of the consequences of misbehavior (court, jail, fines). She’s terrified in an “I’M IN TROUBLE” sense of being attacked by a stranger with a badge and gun who might kill her. These incidents reinforce the sense of isolation in minority, particularly black, communities in which the police are not there to protect, but there as enforcers of a distant power. These are not new, but they’re not going away, either. It leads to a vicious cycle: minority communities are not effectively policed, so they are blighted by crime, the crime makes them a greater target for crime, broken families, unemployment, idleness. The police largely ignore this until some headline incident, in which they arrive en masse to restore order, which is done usually in confrontation with the residents. The residents then distrust the police, which means their communities are not effectively policed.

    • johngalt says:

      911 is a joke…www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPNK0VspQ0M

      25 years later, it’s no better today.

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      JG, I think about that fear a lot.

      If your family history includes being attacked by police officers, then even when a typical situation like a traffic stop might call for an abrupt halt, it may feel impossible to do so. Running feels just as wise.

      We’re all citizens, but the experiences of many minorities in this country differ greatly from those of your average white person.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        As a kid, I was taught that the police can help us. I don’t know that Black parents in many parts of the country could tell their kids that with a straight face.

  18. stephen says:

    My Dad who grew up in Sanford Florida told me when he was a kid the informal rule of the swimming hole was who ever got there first with the most got to use it that day. It was an informal way to share without breaking the social taboo of racial intermixing. Seminole County where Sanford is located is still an enclave of white affluence and very red. Orlando next door is a minority majority county and politically blue. It is like being in a different world. Because of Black leaders over the years we have not suffered the racial riots other areas have. You have to go back to the early twentieth century to find that and it was Whites rioting then. This old southern redneck has a lot of respect for the maturity of Black Leaders. The story you wrote about shows that White Leaders are finally growing up and are becoming more mature.

  19. tuttabellamia says:

    I am optimistic as well and prefer to focus on the positive, but leave it to the media to take the opposite approach, all for ratings and advertising dollars. The media feeds off negativity. Good news is no news. I blame the media for a great many of society’s ills. They won’t leave a good thing alone.

    • Turtles Run says:

      I do not recall seeing the media forcing the inappropriate actions of this officer. It is easy to blame the messenger when one is willfully trying to ignore unpleasant truth .

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Turtles, my point was not about ignoring unpleasant truths, it was about focusing inordinately on them. I was replying to Lifer’s last paragraph: “This country is getting better . . . I hope you see it too.”

        I was referring to things like articles about President Obama’s new Twitter feed or Facebook page, and how the headlines blared about all the racist comments he was receiving, and in tiny print, at the very end, the article would say, almost as an afterthought, “Oh, and by the way, the vast majority of comments, something like 75%, were overwhelmingly positive.”

        All that does is invite people to continue to wallow in negativity, to reinforce negative race relations. The media ought to focus on the positive.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Sorry for the repost.

      • Turtles Run says:

        “All that does is invite people to continue to wallow in negativity, to reinforce negative race relations. The media ought to focus on the positive.”

        It also shines a spotlight that there is much to do in this nation to stamp out this disease. The only way to heal this nation’s racial wounds is to point them out and to remedy them. Ignoring and denying problems will not solve them. Much of our trouble today is because we have allowed some of the worst parts of our past to go without a national healing process. Instead we have allowed people to parade that ugly past as some sort of badge of honor that should be remembered fondly.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      Turtles, my point was not about ignoring unpleasant truths, it was about focusing inordinately on them. I was replying to Lifer’s last paragraph: “This country is getting better . . . I hope you see it too.”

      I was referring to things like articles about President Obama’s new Twitter feed or Facebook page, and how the headlines blared about all the racist comments he was receiving, and in tiny print, at the very end, the article would say, almost as an afterthought, “Oh, and by the way, the vast majority of comments, something like 75%, were overwhelmingly positive.”

      All that does is invite people to continue to wallow in negativity, to reinforce negative race relations. The media ought to focus on the positive.

  20. Bobo Amerigo says:

    Didn’t anticipate that twitch to public unions.

    Guess I need more coffee.

    • 1mime says:

      Our young people may save us from ourselves. I heard an interesting interview today over NPR about Melinneals. The focus was on this group as a hot real estate market. Turns out (if this party is correct) that there are 85 million melinneals in the U.S. They outnumber the gen-Xrs by almost double, which is getting the attention of those who have something to sell. The rest of the discussion described the housing requirements this group wants which is quite different than the Baby Boomers. But I was struck by the sheer number. If they vote, what a profound impact they will have.

      The young people in the Vox video hopefully are representative of this younger generation but I doubt reflect their parents’ views.

    • flypusher says:

      I totally agree Rob. Those kids are good citizens and their parents should be very proud of them.

      • flypusher says:

        So the 4th grade teacher who was waxing nostalgic about the good old days of segregation on social media has been fired. But I’ll be willing to give her her job back on one condition. Let her publicly defend her statement about the benefits of segregation to society, and back it up with some evidence. Degrees of difficulty:1) She has to provide examples of how it was good for everyone, not just White people, and 2) she needs a good cogent case of how to reconcile the contradictions between “segregation good” and the Bill of Rights, the 14th Amendment, the SCOTUS ruling on Brown vs. The Board of Education, and the whole “all men are created equal” philosophy of the Declaration of Independence.

        If you’re using the hashtags “#imnotracist #imsickofthemcausingtrouble #itwasagatedcommunity”, you just might be a racist.

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