Following the release of a YouTube video regarding a police incident in McKinney, Texas, the Huffington Post quickly jumped to conclusions that police were in the wrong. Police responded to a call about a large group of teenagers at a private neighborhood pool where they did not live. Police also had calls indicating fights in progress.
HuffPo leads people to believe that police were in the wrong using the phrase “brutal arrests” in their headline. The article and headline by Kim Bellware leads with information about a cop being suspended. Police suspensions are common during an investigation and is not an indication that the officer did anything wrong. But in this case, the officer was not suspended, he was placed on “administrative leave pending the outcome of this investigation,” according to a police statement.
The video, shown below, was captured by someone who was watching what was going on during the incident. It does not began at the beginning of the police encounter, nor does it show anything leading up to the scene where police were already running and chasing alleged suspects.
After reviewing the video it is difficult to find anything “brutal” about the detaining of a black teenage male and a black female. Both were taken to the ground as officers attempted to gain control of the scene. The male complied and nothing further happened with him in the video. The female had been told repeatedly to leave the scene and she did not. At some point, off camera, something happened causing the officer to detain her. He attempted to take her to the ground and she resisted.
At no point did he strike her or kick her. He used only enough force to get control of the girl and get her on the ground.
During his attempt to detain her, two older and larger black males charged up behind the officer on his gun side. It appears the officer was in fear of being attacked and having his weapon taken from him. He pulled the weapon and the two young men ran. Two other officers gave pursuit and eventually return with one of the men. The officer immediately re-holstered his weapon after the threatening males fled the scene and returned to detaining the girl.
A statement from the McKinney Police reads as follows:
On June 5, 2015 at approximately 7:15 p.m., officers from the McKinney Police Department responded to a disturbance at the Craig Ranch North Community Pool. The initial call came in as a disturbance involving multiple juveniles at the location, who do not live in the area or have permission to be there, refusing to leave. McKinney Police received several additional calls related to this incident advising that juveniles were now actively fighting.
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.
In the press conference shown below, the police chief said that one adult male was arrested for interference with the duties of a peace officer and evading arrest. The 14-year-old girl shown being wrestled to the ground in the above video was not arrested and was released after being detained. The chief lays out the situation and promised a full investigation. He confirmed the officer who took down the teenage girl was the officer on administrative leave pending the investigation.
He also confirmed that no one was injured in the “brutal arrest” as it was described by HuffPo.
Police have a difficult job to do. In this case, they were responding to a situation where they were highly outnumbered by an emotionally charged crowd who repeatedly refused to follow their instructions. It appears the officers used reasonable force to gain control of the scene and separate people who may have been acting improperly from those who were bystanders. Officers drew their weapons when a threatening situation arose and re-holstered their weapons after the threat went away.
A police investigation will determine if an officer acted inappropriately or not, but it appears HuffPo is ready to convict based on very inclusive information of a video that only tells a small part of the story.
“If there were individuals trespassing on private property because they did not have consent to be there, and they either had notice that entry was forbidden (signs or communications that the community pool was only for the private residences in the area), or were asked to leave and they did not, they were committing the crime of trespass,” said Breitbart Texas legal analyst and former prosecutor Lana Shadwick. “Moreover, any fighting at the location would involve the crime of assault. Whether committing the crime of trespassing or assault, an officer has the right to detain and/or arrest the individuals.”
“A person commits an offense if he intentionally flees from a peace officer attempting lawfully to arrest or detain him,” she continued. “An officer may lawfully detain individuals if there is a reasonable suspicion that the person was engaged in unlawful action, like fighting or trespass.”
“At the very least,” Shadwick concluded, “when a peace officer tells you to leave the premises, you need to leave.”
While attempting to blow this up as a racial incident, HuffPo also failed to mention that a 14-year-old white girl was also handcuffed and detained by police. She was released after about twenty-five minutes of being detained.
The initial incident appears to be the result of a large number of teens crashing an “end of school” party at the community pool. Many of the teens did not live in the subdivision and were jumping the fence to get into the party, according to BuzzFeed, which also falsely claimed the officer was “suspended.” Gawker also jumped on the bandwagon and used the same “brutal arrest” language as HuffPo.
Bob Price is a senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.