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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Anna Núñez, ACLU of Texas, 713-942-8146, Ext. 110, firstname.lastname@example.org
HOUSTON - On June 5, 2015, police officers with the McKinney Police Department responded to “a disturbance” at the Craig Ranch North Community Pool. The following is a statement from the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas on the video published on YouTube showing officers pursuing black teenagers and using excessive force during the police response:
“While we don’t know all the facts about the party, the crowd, or whether a fight broke out, what we do know is that the police response, as seen on the video, appears to be a textbook case of overuse of force. A well-trained police department would have responded more cautiously, with less hostility, and using sophisticated crowd control methods that favor de-escalation rather than escalation — especially when it comes to youth and children. Without question, guns were not needed and, in fact, risked turning a group of partying teenagers into victims of a potentially deadly encounter.
“Police departments are intended to be organizations that protect and serve their constituents. But in too many cities, there are two kinds of policing and we saw both in this incident: one serving and protecting the white community and one criminalizing and controlling communities of color.
“We call upon the McKinney Police Department to release the entire incident report and the 911 call recording, along with the name of the officer who has been suspended and his disciplinary history. Police departments will never regain the trust of their communities until they are transparent and accountable.
"We join our ACLU colleagues, advocates across the country and the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing in calling for systemic reforms of our criminal justice system.”
In May 2015, the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing released its recommendations on how to build trust between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. Those recommendations include, among others: creation of a culture of transparency and accountability; swift and open responses when serious incidents occur; restoration and building of trust between police and youth; and consideration and review of policies on use of physical-control equipment and techniques on vulnerable populations such as children.