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.”

Read more here.

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Black Men Arrested for Escorting White Teen

By Christina Ng, ABCnews.com

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Landry Thompson with dance instructor Emmanuel Hurd and dance partner Josiah Kelly

A teenage Oklahoma hip hop dancer is still shaken after her dream trip to a Texas dance studio ended up with her in handcuffs and taken to Child Protective Services and her guardians in police custody. “They had nothing on us,” dance instructor Emmanuel Hurd told ABCNews.com. “Instead of going the route they should have went, they took her to CPS. The only reason someone gave me was we were black and Landry was white.”

Landry Thompson, 13, has been dancing since she was 7. For the past few years, she has dreamed of traveling to Houston to dance with well-known hip hop dancer Chachi Gonzales at Planet Funk Academy. ( . . .)

The three spent the day at the dance academy and taking part in a video shoot. After wrapping and dinner, the exhausted trio stopped at a gas station around 3 a.m. to program their GPS to find their hotel, according to Hurd. He dozed off and awoke to find their car surrounded by police.

“Everything was going amazing. It was a beautiful day …. and then everything went bad,” Hurd told ABCNews.com today.Hurd and Kelly were pulled out of the car and police told them not to worry, they weren’t be arrested, just detained, Hurd said.24117842_BG3

Hurd had forms from Landry’s mother making him her guardian for the duration of the trip, her birth certificate and her insurance card, among other forms, which he said he tried to tell the officers. ( . . .)

Landry’s mom, Destiny Thompson, said she wasn’t surprised by the late-night call because rehearsals often go late into the night, but could tell something was wrong when she heard the commotion in the background and her daughter’s upset voice.

A police officer eventually took Landry’s phone and spoke to her mother.

“He got on the phone and he said, ‘Are you aware your daughter is in Houston, Texas, with two black men?’ And I said, ‘Yes, I am aware of that,'” Destiny Thompson told ABCNews.com. “Then he started mumbling stuff about my parenting, why I would let her do that and then he proceeded to tell me the people she was with were intoxicated or on something.” ( . . .)

“[Hurd] is somebody we know well,” she said. “His wife and kids spent the night at my house last night. These are not people that we kind of know. These are close family friends that we trust explicitly with our children. They just happen to be black.”

Hurd said he begged officers from the back of the police car to listen to him. He said one officer said to him, “Sir, you’ve got to understand, you two men are black and she’s white.” (. . .)

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Little Known Black History Fact: Riverside General Hospital

Riverside General Hospital (RGH) in Houston, Texas is the only remaining historically black hospital in the United States.

Riverside General Hospital (RGH) in Houston, Texas is the only remaining historically black hospital in the United States.

From Black America Web

Riverside General Hospital (RGH) in Houston, Texas is the only remaining historically black hospital in the United States. Formerly known as the Houston Negro Hospital, the 1927 facility was the dream project of several black doctors.

Funded by a wealthy white Texas oilman named J. S. Cullinan, Houston Negro Hospital was dedicated to the black community on the Juneteenth holiday in 1926. The Tiffany Company donated a bronze tablet for the event. Interestingly, the dedication was one year prior to the actual opening of the hospital doors.

In 1961, the hospital building was extended and renamed Riverside General. It was the first medical center for black patients in Houston, and provided a place for Black physicians to work who were not allowed to admit patients to the black wards of Houston’s white hospitals.

The staff and faculty of Riverside General Hospital were all African-American. Benjamin C. Covington and Rupert O. Roett, from Meharry Medical School were part of the first wave of black physicians. Hospital memberships were sold to black families for $6 a year. This included free hospitalization for ill patients. Though it was intended to serve the 15,000 in the black community of Houston, the hospital would only average about eight patients per day. This directly affected RGH’s unique black nurses program, which was the only one in the city.

Read more about the hospital here.

Juneteenth National Freedom Day

From the African American Registry

Juneteenth Celebration in Texas

Juneteenth Celebration in Texas

This date marks the Juneteenth National Freedom Day. Celebrated on June 19, Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. It is the name given to Emancipation Day (or Freedam Day)_by African-Americans in in Galveston, Texas, in 1865, when Union Major General Gordon Granger arrived in town and read General Order #3 to the people of Galveston. It stated, “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.”

the observance of June nineteenth as the African American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States and beyond and in many states is an official holiday. Large celebrations began in 1866 and continue to the present. African-Americans treat this day like the Fourth of July. In the early days, the celebration included a prayer service, speakers with inspirational messages, reading of the Emancipation Proclamation, stories from former slaves, food, red soda water, games, and rodeo dances. The tradition spread as African-American Texans migrated. Celebration of Juneteenth declined during World War II but revived in 1950, and fell away again during the 1960s as attention focused on expansion of freedom for African-Americans.

In 1976, after a 25-year hiatus, House Bill Number 1016, passed in the 66th legislature, declared June 19 “Emancipation Day in Texas,” a legal state holiday effective January 1, 1980 and the celebration of Juneteenth continues.