A Texas police officer has been suspended after he was videoed pointing a gun at children and brutally manhandling a young girl at a pool party.
The video, which was uploaded to Youtube, shows police officers confronting a group of children at a community pool in Texas.
According to a police statement , McKinney Texas police responded on Friday (5 June) evening to a call regarding a "disturbance" by a group of teenagers who "do not live in the area or have permission to be there." A fight had reportedly broken out at the Craig Ranch North Community Pool.
In the video, shot by a bystander, one officer is seen grabbing a young black girl wearing a bikini, by the neck. Earlier in the video, the girl was seen calmly walking away from the scene. As she passes by the officer, he appears to accost her and brutally pulls her to the ground as her friends attempt to defend her. The distraught girl urges her friends: "Call my mama. Call my mama."
The #McKinney video is so disturbing and appalling on so many levels. These racist violent police on power trips need to be stopped.
— Reneé Cole is famous (@ReneeColeNYC) June 7, 2015
With his knee in her back, he forces her head towards the ground. As two young, unarmed boys approach him, he pulls his gun out and points it at them.
The children aged around 14, are heard pleading with the officers saying: "Sir, we just came for a birthday party. Please."
As the young girl cries for help, the officer then kneels onto her back putting the full force of his weight on her. He repeatedly forces her face into the ground as he continues to berate her. All the while, the young girl is crying. Another officer then comes and places handcuffs on the girl as she lies prostrate on the ground.
As two young boys, who identify themselves as the girl's cousins plead with him and attempt to explain themselves, the officer responds saying: "I don't care. I told you to stay. I personally told you to get on the ground and stay. What did you do when I walked away? You did what everybody else did, and what everybody else did was illegal. You did it, and you got caught. Now, you're sitting here, paying for it."
An account of the incident on the YouTube video reads: "When the cops showed up everyone ran, including the people who didn't do anything. So the cops just started putting everyone on the ground and in handcuffs for no reason. This kind of force is uncalled for especially on children and innocent bystanders."
Pool party. Too many kids. Cops show up. Guns drawn. Girls in bikinis manhandled. What did they do? Guilty of race. #McKinney
— Angel M. (@MsAngelll) June 7, 2015
A police statement released by the McKinney Police Department: in response to the video reads: "First responding officers encountered a large crowd that refused to comply with police commands. Nine additional units responded to the scene. Officers were eventually able to gain control of the situation. McKinney Police later learned of a video that was taken at the scene by an unknown party. This video has raised concerns that are being investigated by the McKinney Police Department. At this time, one of the responding officers has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of this investigation."
Brandon Brooks, who uploaded the video to Youtube told Buzzfeed News: "I think a bunch of white parents were angry that a bunch of black kids who don't live in the neighborhood were in the pool. Everyone who was getting put on the ground was black, Mexican, Arabic," he said. "[The cop] didn't even look at me. It was kind of like I was invisible."
you think the police are there to protect innocent people, not intimidate and abuse them. disgusting human being . #McKinney
— Sam Strike (@SamStrike) June 7, 2015
The video has sparked outrage with commentators taking to social media to decry the police officers treatment of the children.
British actor Sam Strike wrote: "you think the police are there to protect innocent people, not intimidate and abuse them. disgusting human being . #McKinney"
"this is just disgusting. no one should touch a woman like that #McKinney", said another.
Suming up the sentiments of the majority of people, one Twitter user wrote: "The #McKinney video is so disturbing and appalling on so many levels. These racist violent police on power trips need to be stopped."
The police officer has been put on administrative leave as the McKinney Police Department further investigates the situation.