People outside of law enforcement, and their families, rarely see the true picture of what is involved in being a police officer. The physical danger and the emotional toll are seldom considered when people react to videos of police officers in action. Former Cpl. Eric Casebolt of the McKinney Police Dept. is a prime example. In a news conference on Wednesday, Casebolt’s attorney Jane Bishkin gave everyone a glimpse of the day that ended this officers career with the McKinney Police.
Bishkin said Officer Casebolt was working the evening shift and started work at 6 p.m., about 1 hour and 15 minutes before officers were called to the Craig Ranch subdivision neighborhood pool. His first call of the night was to a suicide where a father (African-American) had shot and killed himself poolside at an apartment complex in front of his family and others, Bishkin said.
“Eric [Casebolt] assisted them in securing the scene, photographing the body and collecting statements,” said Bishkin. “Eric also spent a considerable amount of time consoling the man’s grieving widow.”
On his next call, Bishkin said Casebolt helped successfully talk a suicidal teenage girl down from her parents’ roof.
“Eric’s compassion during these two incidents are a testament to his character,” Bishkin said. “While police work is often dangerous, it is fraught with emotions and family tragedy.”
“The nature of these two suicide calls took an emotional toll on Eric Casebolt,” Bishkin said at a Wednesday afternoon news conference.
Casebolt, a 10 year veteran the city’s patrolman of the year in 2008, was reluctant to even go to the pool disturbance, but “felt it was his duty to respond” once the call escalated to reports of violence. Having come from a suicide by a pool, a teen girl’s attempted suicide and walking into a chaotic scene full of the elements he had just dealt with involving life and death consequences, Bishkin said, Casebolt acknowledges that he let his emotions get the better of him.
“He never intended to mistreat anyone,” his attorney, Jane Bishkin, said. “He apologizes to all who were offended.”
Casebolt, who resigned Tuesday, did not attend the news conference.
Daniel Malenfant, president of the McKinney Fraternal Order of Police, said Casebolt has been receiving daily telephone and email death threats.
“He’s worried for his family,” Bishkin said. “He’s worried that he may be followed.”
His resignation, which he hoped would allow the city to begin to heal from the racial tension generated by the video has not appeased some who feel that charges should be filed against him. City of McKinney spokeswoman Anna Clark said late Wednesday that the case remains under investigation.
“We won’t have details on charges until it’s complete,” Clark wrote in an email to Yahoo News. “We are investigating all allegations of criminal activity involving this incident.”
Bishkin said Casebolt has received little information about the investigation.