Texas grand jury decides not to charge officer seen toppling teen
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:
"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)