Opinion

The Familiar Narrative Crashing The McKinney Pool Party

Scott Greer Contributor

Who doesn’t love a summer pool party?

They’re almost always a riot, but sometimes they turn into a literal one.

That’s what happened last Friday in McKinney, Texas. A large number of teens arrived at the Craig Ranch Community Pool, many in violation of the neighborhood’s rules on the number of guests allowed, and capacity was quickly exceeded. Fights soon broke out, neighbors became concerned about the pool chaos, the security guard on duty was overwhelmed and the police were called to restore order.

In what should have been just another typical story of suburban summers and rowdy teens instead became the latest media buzzstory about racially-biased police. This is all due to a seven-minute video that captures a cop — Cpl. Eric Casebolt — aggressively manhandling a young black female and then reaching for his gun when two black males approach him as he’s trying to detain the teenage girl. (RELATED: Officer On Leave After Video Shows Him Slamming Teen Girl To The Ground)

The video is not a joy to watch and it’s fair to wonder if the police officer caught on tape used excessive force in this situation. But then you have to take into account the facts of the case.

Casebolt was outnumbered in a tumultuous situation. He was trying to establish order to the best of his ability and the teenage girl began yelling at him and refusing to comply with his directives. The officer then decided to arrest the young female, which she resisted and the cop upped the level of force in order to detain her.

In the middle of doing this, two young men with their fists clenched and looking poised to attack ran up to the officer. Casebolt then reached for his gun holster, pulled out his weapon and the potential attackers fled the scene.

While the Texas cop might’ve used excessive force, this doesn’t appear to be a case of unwarranted police brutality motivated by racial prejudice.

One black resident of the neighborhood has even argued this side of the story. Benet Embry, who hosts an Internet radio show, said in a Facebook post, “I LIVE in this community and this ENTIRE incident is NOT racial at all. A few THUGS spoiled a COMMUNITY event by fighting, jumping over fences into a PRIVATE pool, harassing and damaging property. Not EVERYTHING is about RACE.” (RELATED: Activists Want Black Host Who Blamed Teens For McKinney Pool Fight FIRED)

That statement angered activists and they now want Embry fired from his job. But several other local residents share the same view as Embry, with some even thinking the officer deserves a medal for his actions to restore order.

But this view is largely being ignored in the media in favor of making the story fit the standard narrative of police violence against African Americans. Just take a look at the headlines: “‘The Daily Show’ Slams Texas Cops’ Racist Attack on McKinney Pool Party Teens;” “White Cop Pulls Gun on Black Pool Party;” “McKinney victim’s father shames cop after pool party fiasco: ‘He should be drug-tested, then fired’.”

Ever since the shooting death of Trayvon Martin — which, however, was not committed by a police officer — there’s been a mandated script for events like the McKinney pool brawl.

Here’s how that script goes: an innocent African-American doing nothing wrong is targeted and victimized by a racist, white cop (or a white Hispanic neighborhood watchman), that cop then goes unpunished because of an unjust system and this continues to happen because the system is saddled with white supremacy.

Even though this is usually the go-to description for these cases, rarely do the stories fit the narrative. For instance, Michael Brown was not shot while he had his hands-up, but while he was charging a police officer during a violent confrontation after Brown had robbed a local convenience store.

In the case of Freddie Gray, half of the officers charged for his death are black, one of whom was hit with second-degree murder — the most severe count out of all the indicted cops.

And in the aftermath of the pool party brawl, Officer Casebolt has already resigned for his apparent “indefensible” actions. Talk about a lack of punishment.

However, these facts are seemingly overlooked in favor of the established narrative.

Once the media has used the narrative as the explanation for an incident, the story is then expanded to illustrate how an element of our society is fundamentally racist.

With Trayvon Martin, we learned how “Stand Your Ground” laws were racist. In the Ferguson riots, we learned that police tanks are racist. With Freddie Gray and Eric Garner, we learned how tough-on-crime measures are racist.

And now in McKinney, we’re learning how pools are racist.

The purpose of expanding these stories beyond their immediate circumstances is to further malign the designated villains of the narrative. For McKinney, bringing up the past history of swimming pool discrimination is designed to convict the local residents concerned about the violence of the swim party in the public eye. If people 50 years ago privatized pools and set strict admission rules for prejudiced reasons, then the people of Craig Ranch were just following the bigoted pattern.

Ignore the residents — both black and white — who said the teens started the ruckus and the police were in the right. We’re told that the neighbors were really driven by bias against black youths using the community pool; that’s why the fracas occurred and that’s why the police were in the wrong. It was also apparently residents who were the ones who caused the mini-riot by exchanging racial insults and the belligerent cop confronted the partygoers for no good reason.

Relying on this narrative to explain these events is not just a disservice to the truth, it also divides our country and creates destructive social unrest. Riots occurred in Baltimore and Ferguson because people genuinely believed police officers murdered black men in cold blood — because media outlets told them so. Additionally, cops became targets for assassination in retaliation for falsely reported details of alleged police abuse and Americans were needlessly polarized along racial lines.

This all happens because the media is more concerned with pushing a narrative about racist police rather than reporting the facts.

Sadly for the town of McKinney, it looks to be the next victim of this predetermined tale.