Pool party organizer: ‘No reason’ for Texas cop’s actions

by Raheem Karim

McKINNEY, Texas — The organizer of a pool party in Texas where a police officer’s interactions with a 15-year-old girl were caught on video, said Sunday the police officer had “no reason” to act the way he did.

The seven-minute YouTube video shows a police officer using profanity and aggressively throwing a 15-year-old girl in a bathing suit to the ground, face down. He then appeared to pin her down with his knees.

“He was just aggressive for no reason at all,” said Tatyana Rhodes, one of the party’s organizers. “It was horrible.”

Along with her sister and mother, Rhodes organized and threw the pool party and cookout Friday in the Craig Ranch neighborhood of McKinney. Rhodes said everything started with a woman, who picked a fight with her, and then the police were called. McKinney police confirm they were called to the pool for a disturbance and discovered juveniles fighting and refusing to leave.

Rhodes said when police showed up, kids got scared and started running.

“Everything could’ve been solved way better than what it was,” Rhodes said. “There were other officers that were actually nice to people.”

In the video, captured by 15-year-old Brandon Brooks, the officer appears to be cursing kids out as he tries to round them up. As things escalate, he pulls a gun. It all leads to the incident with the girl, his knees in her back, her head to the ground.

He has been placed on administrative leave. Police Chief Greg Conley said his actions are under investigation.

“Watching 30 seconds or seven minutes of a clip, it doesn’t tell the whole story,” said Sean Toon, a resident of the Craig Ranch neighborhood. Toon said he was one of the people who called police Friday and saw the whole thing. He said he’s behind the officer and his actions. He brought a supportive sign to the pool Sunday to prove it.

“I think he did what he thought he had to do to control the situation,” Toon said.

“It was horrific for me,” said Aryana Rhodes, 15, who helped her sister organize the event.

You can see the younger Rhodes in the video too, trying to help her friend as she pleads for her mom. She believes it was that plea that seemed to set the officer off.

“She has the freedom to speak and what she did was nothing wrong,” Aryana Rhodes said. “The officer was just out of control.”

It is unclear how long the police officer has been with McKinney police.

The family of the 15-year-old girl declined to speak on camera at the advice of their attorney, but the girl’s mother said earlier Sunday that she was horrified by what she saw on the video.

A protest is scheduled for Monday evening.

Lauren Zakalik, WFAA-TV, Dallas-Fort Worth

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