Dajerria Becton, the 15-year-old black girl physically and verbally accosted by a white police officer during the McKinney, Texas, altercation at a dispersed pool party, spoke out during an interview with Fox 4 News on Sunday.
Becton became famous overnight after a video of the incident with the officer went viral. The disturbing footage shows the officer, identified as Police Cpl. Eric Casebolt, grabbing Becton by her hair, throwing her to the ground and pinning her down with both of his knees digging into her back.
According to Becton, what sent Casebolt into a rage were insults from Becton and her friends directed at the officer as they were walking away, after he harassed them. The First Amendment protects verbal speech, even alleged insults, from state interference, which makes the violent detainment all the more questionable.
"He grabbed me, twisted my arm on my back and shoved me in the grass and started pulling the back of my braids," Becton said in the interview. "I was telling him to get off me because my back was hurting bad."
Becton added she felt Casebolt, who is currently on administrative leave, should receive a harsher punishment for his assault on her.
Details of the assault. Becton was attending a pool party at a community pool on Friday when the events unfolded. Brandon Brooks, the 15-year-old white boy who filmed the incident, told BuzzFeed News he thought someone called the police because "a bunch of white parents were angry that a bunch of black kids who don't live in the neighborhood were in the pool."
Brooks also described the scene where he felt "invisible" to the aggressive police officers who were exclusively targeting minorities, and black youths in particular. It was during this mayhem that Casebolt assaulted Becton. When her peers tried to come to her defense, Casebolt drew his gun on the unarmed teenagers.
Shifting tides? This latest video of police brutality is just one of many in a series of racially motivated attacks over the last few years. Jon Stewart pointed out in his coverage of the incident that it's a sign of progress when a police officer draws his gun on black people but no one is actually killed.
The increasing outrage on social media and news outlets after every successive occurrence of police brutality is perhaps a sign of the tide shifting. Americans are losing patience with the government's complacence when it comes to endemic racism in the justice system, and calls for equality are getting louder each time.