McKINNEY, Texas — The community of Craig Ranch is attempting to restore calm in the neighborhood after a weekend where residents claim to have been threatened and large, chanting crowds marched through their residential streets. The pool, owned and operated by the Craig Ranch Community Association, that became the center of national scrutiny was re-opened to the residents Tuesday morning.
In a statement handed to media by a pool security guard, the Craig Ranch Community Association wrote, “The Association is working to restore peace and calm to our community. We are cooperating with the McKinney Police Department regarding the incident which occurred on Friday, June 5th.” They referred any questions to the police.
Monday night brought a different perspective to residents. Before the protest, many were fearful of what might happen during the planned protest event. Some were prepared for the worst and were prayerful for the best. All expressed support for the police department, while some questioned the actions of one officer.
Hundreds of activists of all ages and races marched from a neighborhood school through the neighborhood streets, chanting loudly and carrying protest signs. The march culminated with a gathering and speeches outside the gate of the pool area where the controversial actions of a police officer drew national attention. Media trucks from all of the national and local television stations lined the streets.
The crowd continued its march around the block-long park that is home to the association’s private pool. Following their lap around the community park, they marched out as loudly as they entered.
During the rally at the school, Breitbart Texas spoke with McKinney Police Sergeant Sherwood Holmes, a black man. Holmes said McKinney is a wonderful city to be a police officer in. He said he had been with the McKinney PD for about the same length of time as Corporal Casebolt, the officer involved in the incident. He would not confirm if he knew the officer personally, nor would he speak on anything related to the incident.
As to the rally, Holmes said, “This is our community (McKinney) coming together. It’s what we do. It’s what we’ve always done.”
Another reported asked Holmes if McKinney was “a racist city.” Holmes looked at her in shock.
“That’s cold,” he responded. “McKinney is absolutely not a racist city.”
Many of the residents of Craig Ranch told Breitbart Texas the same thing. “We are a very ethnically diverse neighborhood,” one resident said, wishing to remain anonymous because of alleged threats of violence. “Everyone, of all races, gets along here. Nothing like this has ever happened.”
Bryan Gestner, whom Breitbart Texas has previously reported about, was not afraid to go on the record, despite many alleged threats of violence. Before the march, he and his wife joined with neighbors in their front driveway to watch. Many of his neighbors were clearly scared and didn’t know what to expect.
After the march, which went directly past his home, Gestner told Breitbart Texas, “I was impressed with them.”
Looking much relieved, Gestner said, “Our community came together. They said their piece and we listened. This is what our community does.”
“I am very proud of our community,” Gestner said, smiling for the first time since we began talking.
Tuesday morning, the main complaint from neighbors was about the noisy generators on the national news media trucks.
The pool was re-opened for residents, and many came out to cool off in the 90-plus-degree heat that has replaced the heavy rains of previous weeks.
One local media outlet told this writer the national media is losing interest in this story and moving on. Many of the big trucks were pulling out.
Breitbart Texas visited the McKinney Police Department, where no one was available to speak on the matter, but one officer said they have been receiving many calls of support from local residents, plus many angry calls from people outside of the community. Security appeared to be on a heightened state of alert, with a few police cars sitting in the parking lot, and officers keeping a watchful eye on the day’s events.
One lone protester was sitting out in front of the police department. Wearing a McKinney T-shirt, his message on one sign read, “You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself – Leviticus 19:18.” His second sign read, “I support McKinney police.”