Texas officer in video let 'emotions get the better of him': lawyer

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McKinney Police Chief: Officer Was Out Of Control

The Dallas-area policeman seen in a viral video throwing a bikini-clad black teenager to the ground was emotionally fraught at the time after responding to two suicide calls, and was not targeting minorities, his attorney said on Wednesday.

McKinney Police Corporal Eric Casebolt, who is white, resigned on Tuesday after being seen in a video responding to a disturbance at a pool party on Friday where he appeared to target black youths, an incident that has added to concerns about racial bias in U.S. policing.

"He never intended to mistreat anyone," lawyer Jane Bishkin told a news conference, adding that Casebolt hoped his resignation can bring healing.

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Texas cop pool party aftermath
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Texas officer in video let 'emotions get the better of him': lawyer
Demonstrators gather near a community pool Monday, June 8, 2015, during a protest in response to an incident at the pool involving McKinney police officers in McKinney, Texas. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
In this frame from video, McKinney Mayor Brian Loughmiller speaks at a news conference at police headquarters, Tuesday, June 9, 2015, in McKinney, Texas. The white police officer who was recorded on video pushing a black girl to the ground at a North Texas pool party resigned from the police force Tuesday. (AP Photo/Jill Craig)
Demonstrators gather near a community pool during a protest Monday, June 8, 2015, in response to an incident at the pool involving McKinney police officers in McKinney, Texas. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
In this frame from video, McKinney law enforcement officials including Police Chief Greg Conley, front right, listen to Mayor Brian Loughmiller during a news conference at police headquarters, Tuesday, June 9, 2015, in McKinney, Texas. The white police officer who was recorded on video pushing a black girl to the ground at a North Texas pool party resigned from the police force Tuesday. (AP Photo/Jill Craig)
Demonstrators gather near a community pool Monday, June 8, 2015, during a protest in response to an incident at the pool involving McKinney police officers in McKinney, Texas. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
In this June 8, 2015 photo, a water tower with a city slogan painted across it is seen behind a housing area in McKinney, Texas. McKinney is an affluent Dallas suburb that is among the nation's fastest-growing cities, with highly regarded public schools and nationally recognized livability rankings. But a video showing a white police officer wrestling a black girl to the ground at a neighborhood pool party has renewed racial tensions in a city that only three years ago settled litigation alleging public housing segregation. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
In this June 8, 2015 photo, a McKinney police officer stands near demonstrators during a protest in response to an incident at a community pool involving local police officers in McKinney, Texas. McKinney is an affluent Dallas suburb that is among the nation's fastest-growing cities, with highly regarded public schools and nationally recognized livability rankings. But a video showing a white police officer wrestling a black girl to the ground at a neighborhood pool party has renewed racial tensions in a city that only three years ago settled litigation alleging public housing segregation. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
CORRECTS TO HUNDREDS- Hundreds march toward a community pool during a protest Monday, June 8, 2015, in response to an incident at the pool involving McKinney police officers in McKinney, Texas. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
Hundreds march during a protest in response to an incident at a community pool involving McKinney police officers Monday, June 8, 2015, in McKinney, Texas. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
CORRECTS TO HUNDREDS- Hundreds march Monday, June 8, 2015, toward a community pool during a protest in response to an incident at the pool involving McKinney police officers in McKinney, Texas. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
A McKinney resident speaks in support of the police during a protest in response to an incident at a community pool involving McKinney police officers Monday, June 8, 2015, in McKinney, Texas.The woman said she did not want to give her name as she had already received death threats. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
Hundreds march during a protest in response to an incident at a community pool involving McKinney police officers Monday, June 8, 2015, in McKinney, Texas. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
Rosalyn Harrison speaks during a protest Monday, June 8, 2015, in response to an incident at a community pool involving McKinney police officers in McKinney, Texas. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
The Craig Ranch neighborhood pool is shown on Monday, June 8, 2015, in McKinney, Texas. A McKinney police officer has been placed on administrative leave after a video was posted online showing him pushing a teenage girl in a swimsuit to the ground and pointing his gun at other teens. (AP Photo/John L. Mone)
Hundreds march during a protest Monday, June 8, 2015, in response to an incident at a community pool involving McKinney police officers in McKinney, Texas. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
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He has received death threats and is at an undisclosed location because he fears for his family's safety, she said.

Prior to the incident, Casebolt had responded to one suicide and worked to prevent another, causing him to be under emotional strain when he arrived at the disturbance, Bishkin said.

"With all that had happened that day, he allowed his emotions to get the better of him," she said.

In the video seen nearly 11 million times on YouTube, Casebolt is seen shouting obscenities at black youths in a multiracial crowd, shoving an African-American teenage girl, briefly pointing his gun at black youths and then throwing the bikini-clad 15-year-old to the ground and putting his knees on her back.

The police chief in McKinney, a city about 30 miles (50 km) north of Dallas, said on Tuesday Casebolt was out of control and his actions indefensible, adding that 11 other officers on the scene acted professionally and responsibly.

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