Texas grand jury decides not to charge officer seen toppling teen

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No Charges For Texas Officer Who Pinned Teen Girl At Pool Party

AUSTIN, Texas, June 23 (Reuters) - A jury in suburban Dallas has decided not to charge a Texas police officer seen in a viral video last year throwing a bikini-clad black teenager to the ground, court officials said on Thursday.

Eric Casebolt, who is white, resigned from the police department in the Dallas suburb of McKinney a few days after he was seen in the video responding to a disturbance at a pool party where he appeared to target black youths.

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The incident was one in a series that raised concerns about racial bias in U.S. policing.

Tom Mills, an attorney for Casebolt, said his client's actions were justified.

Aftermath from the incident last year:

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Texas cop pool party aftermath
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Texas cop pool party aftermath
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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"The evidence shows that he had a right to arrest the young lady," he said by telephone. Attorneys for the family of the girl thrown to the ground were not immediately available for comment.

In the video viewed about 11 million times on YouTube in the days following the June 2015 incident, Casebolt is seen shouting obscenities at black youths in a multiracial crowd. He shoves an African-American teenage girl, briefly points his gun at black youths and then throws the bikini-clad 15-year-old to the ground, putting his knees on her back.

Last year, a lawyer for Casebolt said the former officer let his emotions get the better of him. 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, his lawyer said.

The McKinney police chief said after the incident that Casebolt was out of control and his actions were indefensible.

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"I had 12 officers on the scene, and 11 of them performed according to their training. They did an excellent job," McKinney Police Chief Greg Conley said in June 2015.

The McKinney Police Department was not immediately available for comment. (Editing by Matthew Lewis and Alan Crosby)

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