Grand Jury Declines to Indict Cop Who Slammed Teen Girl to Ground

BY BREANNA EDWARDS, theroot.com

Cpl. Eric Casebolt will not face criminal charges after a controversial video showed him aggressively tossing a 15-year-old girl in a bathing suit to the ground at a pool party and then pinning her to the ground with his knees.

A Texas grand jury declined to indict a McKinney, Texas, police officer who was seen on video slamming a teenage girl to the ground outside a pool party last year, WFAA reports.

Now-former Police Cpl. Eric Casebolt was thrust into the spotlight in June 2015 after seven minutes of video showed the officer aggressively tossing the 15-year-old girl to the ground before pinning her with his knees. Casebolt also pulled his gun on two other youths who came running to help the girl.

A Collin County grand jury ruled Thursday that there was not enough evidence to press criminal charges against Casebolt, WFAA reports.

“We’re glad that the system worked in his favor in this case,” Casebolt’s attorney, Tom Mills, said of the decision, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Casebolt resigned four days after the incident.

Officer Eric Casebolt

Officer Eric Casebolt

Following the decision, the family of the teenage girl Casebolt slammed to the ground said they will sue Casebolt, the Morning News notes.

“We currently live in a time in which the public servants who are hired to protect and serve are not required to uphold the very law they are sworn to enforce,” attorney Kim T. Cole said in a prepared statement. “The message is clear.  Police are above the law.  This must change.”

According to the Morning News, following the grand jury’s decision, McKinney police will be hosting a forum Monday evening titled, “Moving Forward, Strengthening Police and Community Relationships.”

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2 Outside Reviews Say Cleveland Officer Acted Reasonably in Shooting Tamir Rice, 12

By Mitch Smith, New York Times

 

 

Tamir Rice, 12, was killed.

Tamir Rice, 12, was killed.

Two outside investigators looking into the death of Tamir Rice have concluded that a Cleveland police officer, Tim Loehmann, acted reasonably in deciding last year to shoot when he confronted the 12-year-old boy carrying what turned out to be a replica gun.

Those opinions, reached separately by a Colorado prosecutor and a former F.B.I. supervisory special agent, were released Saturday night by the Cuyahoga County prosecutor, Timothy J. McGinty, whose office will ultimately present evidence in the case to a grand jury to decide on possible criminal charges.

“The question is not whether every officer would have reacted the same way,” Kimberly A. Crawford, the retired F.B.I. agent, wrote in her report, which noted that Officer Loehmann had no way of knowing Tamir’s gun was fake. “Rather, the relevant inquiry is whether a reasonable officer, confronting the exact same scenario under identical conditions could have concluded that deadly force was necessary.”

The reports, which were commissioned by the prosecutor’s office, come almost 11 months after the shooting outside a recreation center on Nov. 22, 2014. Footage of the shooting was captured on a surveillance camera, and Tamir’s name quickly became among the most prominent in a series of black men and boys whose deaths at the hands of the police were memorialized in Twitter hashtags and protest chants.

Both Ms. Crawford and S. Lamar Sims, the prosecutor from Colorado, said in their reports that they were evaluating Officer Loehmann’s actions under the United States Constitution, not Ohio state law…

Tamir’s death resulted in a lengthy series of investigations that have frustrated some activists, who see the shooting as a clear case of police overreach and have called for the arrests of Officer Loehmann and his partner, Officer Frank Garmback, who drove his police cruiser to within feet of Tamir but who did not fire his weapon. Some have criticized Officer Garmback for parking his cruiser so close…

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Prosecutor in Martin Case Will Alone Determine Its Merits

Trayvon Martin Protest

Trayvon Martin Protest

Angela B. Corey, a Republican state attorney with a reputation for toughness, has decided not to seek a grand jury review of the Trayvon Martin shooting, keeping the resolution of a case that has transfixed the nation solely in her hands.

Ms. Corey, 57, who was appointed special prosecutor in the case by Florida’s governor and attorney general, must decide herself how to proceed with the particularly difficult case, in which many facts are in dispute and no witnesses have come forward publicly. She alone must determine whether to file charges against George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch coordinator who shot and killed the unarmed Mr. Martin, or to drop the case.

Read more of the story here.