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McKinney Police Officer At Center Of Pool Party Controversy Resigns

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MCKINNEY (CBSDFW.COM) - The McKinney police officer at the center of an investigation involving his behavior at a community pool party has resigned.

Saying he feared for his safety, Corporal Eric Casebolt gave a statement to investigators and left town after being placed on administrative leave, when cell phone video of him violently restraining a 14-year-old girl, and drawing his weapon on unarmed teens at a pool party went viral.

Casebolt reportedly submitted his resignation through his attorney. As for the internal investigation it has been closed since he is no longer an employee

Since Casebolt is stepping down it will be difficult for the City of McKinney to discipline him. The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) will only enter "marks" in Casebolt's file if he is disciplined or fired from a department, meaning he can still work as a commissioned police officer.

Several people have filed complaints against Casebolt that could possibly result in criminal charges.  That would also impact his TCOLE status if the department or District Attorney decides to charge him.

McKinney Police Chief Greg Conley and Mayor Brian Loughmiller both made statements outside police headquarters Tuesday. During the press conference, streamed live on CBSDFW.COM, Chief Conley said, "As the Chief of Police I want to say to our community that the actions of Casebolt, as seen on the video of the disturbance at the community pool, are indefensible."

The Chief went on to say, "Our polices, our training our practice do not support his actions. He came into the call out of control and as the video shows was out of control during the incident. I had 12 officers on the scene and 11 of them performed according to their training. They did an excellent job."

Saying that police were called to a fight in progress and general disturbance at the community pool, Chief Conley commented about some of the negative actions by people other than Casebolt. "I do not condone the actions of those individuals who violated the rules of the community, showed disrespect to the security person on scene, and to the officers who responded. However, we as a department are held to a high standard of action as we do our jobs."

The Chief spoke of the "fine men and women of the McKinney Police Department" and also expressed a sense of pride in the strength and character of the citizens there. He said, "I am encouraged by the support of our local community. Our residents met with me and said, "Chief we will hold you accountable, but we can take care of our own house.'"

Video of Casebolt putting one black teen in handcuffs and arresting him, drawing and pointing his gun at others, and throwing one young black girl to the ground sparked worldwide outrage.

Mayor Loughmiller said his job has been clear. He said, "Over the past few days my primary goal and responsibility has been to monitor and to reassure or residents and our community that we were going about this investigation in a proper way... in a quick way. And most of all to make sure that we have a peaceful response to the actions that took place."

The Mayor said he had met with some of the families who had children at the party. He said he told them he was "sorry that this incident occurred."

Monday afternoon, community leaders from the Next Generation Action Network & Justice Seekers Texas, the NAACP and local pastors called for Chief Conley to fire Casebolt. Members of the group said they would be patient and let the police investigation complete it's course, but made it clear they wanted justice.

Monday evening hundreds of people gathered in competing demonstrations both for and against the actions of Cpl. Casebolt. The march was peaceful but not without tense moments when sides on opposite ends of the issue squared off. Police kept a watchful eye on the march and made sure it didn't get out off hand like Friday's pool party in Craig Ranch. Another protest was planned for Wednesday. No word if it will still be held.

State records show Casebolt, who had been with McKinney PD for 10 years, had 2200 hours of law enforcement classes, including extensive training in both cultural diversity and use of force.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the cell phone video of the incident, posted on YouTube, had been viewed nearly 10,000,000 times. Click here to view the video.

WARNING: The video contains graphic footage and explicit language that may be disturbing to some viewers.

Before Casebolt's resignation, the McKinney Fraternal Order of Police stood by the Corporal and released a statement Monday night saying, "This was not a racially-motivated incident."

(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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