Washington, June 9 (IANS) Around 500 people gathered near a swimming pool in McKinney, in the US state of Texas, to protest police aggression against young Afro-Americans in the vicinity, Efe news agency reported.
The incident of police aggression on Saturday was recorded and circulated on social networks, causing a huge uproar in the US where several cases of police brutality have been registered in recent months.
The video shows a white officer named Eric Casebolt from the McKinney police department immobilising a 14-year-old black girl, which provoked a reaction from her friends to which the officer responded by drawing his gun and pointing it at the group.
The girl and her friends were attending a party at a community pool in Craig Ranch, a predominantly white neighbourhood.
The McKinney police department said in a statement that the incident occurred when the officers, responding to calls made by the residents, found “multiple juveniles at the location, who do not live in the area or have permission to be there, refusing to leave.”
Despite the justification, McKinney police has opened an investigation and under social pressure has temporarily suspended Casebolt.
“The issue we have in McKinney is not only a racism issue it’s classism issue,” said Pastor Derrick Golden of the Amazing Church in McKinney during the protest on Monday, while refusing to make comparisons with Ferguson or Baltimore, cities that in the last months have witnessed significant racial protests.
According to the young Afro-Americans involved in the incident, Craig Ranch residents rebuked them and the police reacted in a racist manner.
Some versions state that the fight began when a woman spitefully asked the youths to return to “Section 8”, a neighbourhood with a high Afro-American population.
The 500 protesters included mostly Afro-Americans, many of whom “believe the teenagers were good kids who were treated unjustly”, the Dallas Morning News newspaper reported.