excessive force

Lawsuit claims Ex McKinney Police Officer Used Excessive Force at Pool Party

By Peek & Toland on April 5, 2017

White police officers using excessive force against black people was an enduring theme of 2015 and 2016. In Texas, a former McKinney police officer is facing a $5 million federal lawsuit over claims he used excessive force while restraining a 15-year-old.

The incident at a pool party gained notoriety. It was captured on social media videos and made national news headlines.

The Star-Telgram reported how David Eric Casebolt, a former police officer, chased black teens and ordered them to the ground.

Casebolt, who is white, was seen forcing the teen girl, Dajerria Becton, onto her stomach and placing his knees on her back.

The officer also caused outcry at the pool party when he pulled out his firearm as two young black men charged forward to complain about the girl’s treatment. He holstered the weapon when two other officers intervened.

About a dozen officers responded to a 911 call related to an apparent disturbance at the pool. There were about 100 teens at the pool and a fight had been reported.

Casebolt resigned from the police department less than a week after the incident. McKinney Police Chief Greg Conley branded his actions at the pool “indefensible” and said he lost control of the incident.

The federal complaint follows the decision of a grand jury not to indict Casebolt in the summer of 2016.

Excessive force lawsuit stems from Texas pool party

lawsuit claims police officer used excessive force at pool party

The lawsuit claims the officer used excessive force, committed an assault and unlawfully detained a minor child. The lawsuit also accused the city of McKinney and police officials of failing to provide McKinney officers with adequate training and lacking a direction to protect residents from having their rights violated by police officers.

In past years, the City of McKinney was the subject of a lawsuit that accused its officials of imposing racial segregation in public housing.
The rapid growth of social media has given a wider forum to police arrests and led to mass outcries at heavy-handed tactics. Last year police were accused of racism and a series of arrests led to the deaths of young black men.

In December 2016, the arrest of a black mother by a Fort Worth police officer sparked a social media backlash.

Jacqueline Craig told an officer she called the police because a neighbor grabbed her son. After an argument, she was wrestled to the ground and arrested by the white police officer on charges of resisting arrest and failure to identify.

Reports said she was also arrested on warrants from the Irving Police Department for traffic charges.

Excessive force is a significant problem linked to police officers across the county. In January, former US Attorney General Loretta Lynch said the Chicago Police Department unconstitutionally engaged in deadly and excessive force over a considerable period.

Her press conference concluded a 13-month federal probe into a department that has been under heavy criticism over officer-involved shootings.

As Austin criminal defense lawyers, we are always concerned to hear about police using excessive force. Intimidation by police officers can be physical or verbal. A DWI suspect might be coerced or bullied into a breath test or stopped without proper cause.

A police officer may force a confession due to excess force. If this has happened to you, please call Peek & Toland at (512) 474-4445.

Posted in Criminal Defense

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Woman Sues Austin Police for “Excessive Force” in DWI Arrest

By Peek & Toland on March 17, 2017

Police stops that result in DWI arrests can sometimes be challenged. Recently, a 26-year-old woman brought a civil lawsuit against Austin police alleging “excessive force” in her arrest.

In late 2016, a jury in federal court ruled against Caroline Callaway, 26, in her lawsuit claiming Austin police and Travis County jail employees used excessive force to take a sample of her blood following a DWI arrest in 2013, reported The Statesman.

Callaway sought more than $1 million to offset medical bills she said she incurred from separate elbow surgeries she said were the result of injuries inflicted by an Austin police officer. She claimed the officer jerked her hands while she was cuffed.

Austin police accused of excessive force in DWI arrest

Austin police were accused of using excessive force

In the lawsuit, Callaway also sought damages for post-traumatic stress disorder and neck pain from a choke hold.

The jury cleared the officer who made the arrest, Det. Patrick Oborski, and Sgt. Adam Johnson, who assisted in drawing the woman’s blood wrongdoing. Travis County was a co-defendant in the case.

Excessive Force Lawsuit Followed 2013 DWI Arrest

In 2015, Callaway beat a DWI charge. Her attorney alleged there was a breakdown in the jail’s chain of custody and her blood sample may have been faulty.

The lawsuit stemmed from a DWI arrest back in February 2013. Oborski pulled over Callaway on Feb. 4, 2013. He said she ran two red lights on Lamar Boulevard. Callaway allegedly told the officer she had not drank alcohol but later contradicted herself when she said she drank two beers and a shot at a Super Bowl party. Marijuana was found in her car, The Statesman reported.

Callaway alleged she faced serious trauma after the arrest. She said a mask she was forced to wear for up to 10 seconds to prevent biting and spitting gave her a panic attack.

Although many DWI arrests in Texas are routine, we hear of cases in which police officers act aggressively and try to force drivers to take tests. You have a right to refuse a blood test in Texas, and a 2016 Supreme Court case pointed to the need to police officers to obtain a search warrant before administering a blood test.

When police use intimidating tactics in DWI arrests, you may feel hopeless and not know where to turn. It’s important to hire an experienced Austin DWI attorney as soon as possible. We have helped many people who are in thus position to get their lives back on track. Call us at (512) 474-4445.

Posted in Criminal Defense, DWI

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