McKINNEY, Texas — Tuesday night, McKinney pastors led a prayer and healing service in the Craig Ranch subdivision park with several dozen residents. They discussed the seven-minute YouTube video — “seven minutes that changed the world,” said one pastor. Residents have been threatened and besmirched in the days since the community pool incident Friday evening.
The neighborhood vigil was planned prior to Corporal’s Eric Casebolt’s resignation, in response to the video showing him wrestling a bikini-clad teenage girl to the ground after she failed to comply with commands and resisted being detained, as Breitbart Texas reported.
It was not a scene of celebration, it was more one of relief and restoration. The neighbors came out to commune and reconnect with each other — white, black and brown, young and old — in their own backyard.
Pastor Derrick Golden from Amazing Church reiterated his concerns of classism and racism which Breitbart Texas reported. Last night, he called Casebolt’s resignation a great decision.
“For him, that was a great decision. That’s self-accountability. He made that decision. I pray for him because he has a family.”
Golden also discussed threats that had been made against local families.
“People here have been getting threats because they kind of helped cool off some of the kids to the point where their children’s faces were on social media,” he said. The group prayed alongside with the clergy to stand together with these families.
“It was seven minutes that changed the world,” added Golden, describing the McKinney viral pool party video, which he called a catalyst for a community to rise up and come together.
Earlier in the week, a larger group of 30 local pastors met with McKinney civic leaders and elected officials. Said Mike Connaway, a Craig Ranch resident and a pastor at VLife Church in Historic Downtown McKinney, “When we met with the mayor and the police chief – as pastors all of us together – we said, ‘listen you guys, we boldly have to say it, it was wrong.’” He was referring to Casebolt’s actions.
The pastors saw this as a step in the right direction. Many Craig Ranch residents, like Michael Robinson, came to the prayer in the park with their children. Pleased by the gathering, he told Breitbart Texas, “The community has come together.”
The Craig Ranch subdivision is a racially and ethnically diverse community, pointed out five year resident Kim Quigley, a divorced mother of four. She wanted to re-emphasize to people on the outside that Craig Ranch is not a racist community.
“I taught my kids to love everyone,” she told Breitbart Texas, meaning her neighbors. She expressed mixed feelings over the pool incident, noting that the kids should have listened to the officer and the officer to them, but now that Casebolt resigned, she added, “It was about the neighborhood.”
One of the criticisms of the McKinney pool party fiasco has been a reluctance to acknowledge the possibility that the teens acted inappropriately or were disrespectful.
While in the prayer circle, Golden addressed these concerns, leading parents, grandparents and youngsters alike in responsive prayer reciting “to obey the commands of the mother and father” and “to interact with authority in a way so are not fear-filled.”
He also called upon McKinney’s youth to be “world changers.”
Breitbart Texas also spoke to Connaway, who said that there were many reasons McKinney ended differently than Ferguson. One may have been spiritual preparation, according to the pastor. He shared that 40 days ago, the community of McKinney pastors had the “word” put in their hearts. The possibility of something like this happening came up, perhaps in light of recent events in Ferguson and Baltimore.
He joked that he was a white, old, conservative guy, “not a social justice guy, but when justice was needed, the pastors needed to stand up.”
All along, Golden maintained that “God will heal McKinney.” Last night, they prayed for that healing… and while they prayed, the sounds of laughter and children splashing in the very pool seen around the world could be heard in the background.
Follow Merrill Hope on Twitter @OutOfTheBoxMom.
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.