The Texas girl who was brutalized by a police officer at a pool party in 2015 — an incident captured in a notorious viral video — has won a settlement of nearly $150,000.
The family of Dajerria Becton and their attorneys were awarded a settlement of $184,850 from the City of McKinney and its policy department, with $148,850 going directly Becton, according to The Star-Telegram in Fort Worth.
The family had filed a federal complaint about the incident in January 2017 seeking $5 million in damages.The complaint accused the officer, corporal Eric Casebolt, of using excessive force, committing assault, and unlawfully detaining a minor child.
The city and police department said the claims against Eric Casebolt will be dropped.
"While the events precipitating this case are regrettable," the statement said, "the City of McKinney and the McKinney Police Department would like to express their thanks to the community for its commitment to inclusiveness, order, and unity. "
The video showed Becton, who was unarmed and 15 at the time, being grabbed by her hair, forcibly pushed to the ground, and handcuffed by Casebolt at a McKinney pool party in June. At one point, Casebolt reaches for his gun while muttering curses under his breath. Teen girls can be heard screaming for adults in the footage. Police had been called to the scene to address a disturbance after locals complained that teens had jumped a fence and that the party was noisy. Twelve officers arrived to handle the situation.
The video was posted to YouTube hours after the incident and garnered millions of views by the end of that day, sparking protests and calls for Casebolt to step down from his position as an officer. Casebolt resigned from the police force four day later. Since Casebolt is white and Becton is black, the video sparked fierce debate about racially motivated use of police force.
Becton's attorney, Kim T. Cole, is now planning a pool party to celebrate her client's settlement and graduation from high school.
“My goal is to redo this experience,” Cole told Teen Vogue. “Dajerria recently told me she hasn’t been swimming since the incident ... This girl will never be the same. Anyone who has been a teenage Black girl knows how hard it is, and to have this type of negative publicity, in your bikini, shown all over the world. It tore her up. We don’t know who she would have been had this not happened.”
[Photo: Screenshot via YouTube]