Joint statement from Equal Rights Advocates and the Equal Justice Society:
Dajerria Becton was going to a pool party in the suburbs. She was wearing a bathing suit. She is 14 years old.
We were disgusted and outraged to watched Officer Eric Casebolt brutalize this 14-year old African American girl over the weekend outside a pool party in Texas. As he hailed profanities, the officer grabbed the young woman, dragged her on a sidewalk, and then pinned her down. Dajerria Becton was unarmed. She had committed no crime. She was clad only in a bathing suit and was screaming for someone to get her mother. The officer was unrelenting. He forced her to lie face down in the grass. That wasn’t enough. He then sat on her with his knees digging into her back as she continued to scream for help. This incident occurred after several African American youth were ejected from the pool party with racial slurs. The images were reminiscent of how Black people were treated before the Civil War, namely, like animals. Casebolt then pulled his gun. We are fortunate not to be writing about the deaths of more unarmed people of color!
Many of us watched this video again and again and cried not only for Dajerria Becton but for all of the kids of color in this country who are not safe from law enforcement. For all of the kids of color who face harsher school discipline than their white peers. For African American girls – who receive more severe sentences when they enter the juvenile justice system than do members of any other group of girls and who are also the fastest growing population in the system, even in liberal San Francisco.
Dajerria Becton matters. Black girls matter. All of us must rise up right now and get angry. We must hold police and criminal justice system accountable. We must hold schools accountable. We must hold each other accountable for racism that infects entire communities, and even pool parties, it would appear. We must demand and create change.
– Noreen Farrell, Equal Rights Advocates, and Eva Paterson, Equal Justice Society