I’m not going to make you wait for the video, here it is. Watch, get your first impressions in mind and then we’ll attempt to put it into CONTEXT. Something other reports seem to be failing to do.
Now, are you outraged? Were his actions justified? Do you have enough information from this video to even make a judgement?
First, there is this from the McKinney Police Department Facebook page:
Pool Party Incident:
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.
So, we have multiple 911 calls, reports of active fighting, people attempting to flee the scene as police arrive and groups of teens that want to run their mouths while taking camera videos rather than listen to officers who are trying to get the scene under control and find out what is going on. I have watched the video several times and from the video it is unclear what provoked the confrontation with the young girl, but it is clear that she did not leave the area when told to do so. When the officer pulled his weapon, it was in response to being run up on by several people.
His actions are under review and admittedly some seem to be excessive, but far from a “violent rampage” as reported by Brett Sanders in his article entitled “Texas Cop Goes on Violent Rampage at Pool Party.” Sensationalized headlines and a general anti-cop mentality that has taken hold in America, coupled with recent racially charged stories involving law enforcement, fueled much of the antagonist response that police got from the teens on the scene. Controlling a scene is the first priority of law enforcement, for their own safety and the safety of the citizens they interact with on any encounter. Animosity and antagonism towards law enforcement, whether racially motivated or simply anti-authority in nature, makes that task much more difficult.
People seem to think that police officers are somehow immune to the heat, the stress and the adrenaline that affect other mere mortals. All of which appear to play a role in this encounter, as well as a blatant sense of entitlement on the part of the teens involved who feel somehow justified in ignoring the officer and exacerbating the situation.
This incident only just happened and the investigation has only just begun, but the trial by public opinion is already well under way. By the time any investigation is complete, the public at large will have already made up their minds on the issue. Facts and context will be irrelevant at that point. While I cannot explain and do not condone this officers actions in any way based on the limited information available, but I do want to provide at least some context and explanation to temper the usual emotional response to situations like this in order to at least give the opportunity to have an investigation before public condemnation out of ignorance takes hold.
Already there are comments and pictures coming out that are telling the story of exactly what the police were responding to, such as this;
and this from Twitter BEFORE police arrived, which claims it was two adult women, although one was clearly very young, and alleges some racial comments not included in the video as if it justifies violence IF it was indeed said.
— Revolution News (@NewsRevo) June 7, 2015
Joining the U.S. Air Force right out of high school, Jon had the opportunity to experience many different parts of the world and different cultures. His post military career path, both white collar and blue collar, allowed him to work alongside both CEOs and average Joes. “Writing was never a goal or even vaguely contemplated as a career choice, it just happened, an accidental discovery of a talent and a passion.” A passion that has taken him in many directions from explorations of the zombie subculture and writing zombie stories to politics and News. He is an avid “people watcher,” political junkie and has a ravenous appetite for history and current events alike.