WATCH: Ohio Cops Assault & Pepper Spray Kids At Public Pool

17 Jun 2015

An Ohio family is accusing Fairfield police of using excessive, racially-motivated force during a much-disputed confrontation at a city-owned pool last week.

The encounter occurred shortly after Krystal Dixon, 33, brought several children and teens to the Fairfield Aquatic Center on Tuesday June 9. One teen was quickly asked to leave because he didn’t have a proper swimsuit, WLWT reported.

Dixon went to get swim trunks for the teen, but was told when she returned that he couldn’t get in the pool, according to Bishop Bobby Hilton, leader of the local World Deliverance Ministries. Hilton, who is acting as the family’s spokesperson, is a member of Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network.

As police officers arrived, Dixon tried to get the others out of the pool, passing by one officer who ordering her to leave, Hamilton said.

Some time after that, police tried to detain some of the adolescents, as seen in intense video shot by a bystander. It’s unclear exactly how the confrontation escalated.

The video appears to show a group of white officers restraining several black youths, including one girl who is grabbed by the neck and pushed against a police car. She was later identified as Dixon’s niece.

Several officers work to pull another girl off a gate she is grasping onto, while repeatedly telling her to stop resisting arrest. Police confirmed that they used pepper spray during the arrests and one officer is heard instructing a handcuffed female how to blink the spray out of her eyes near the end of the video.

The six-minute video begins with a brief argument between members of Dixon’s group and pool employees, before abruptly cutting to the police scene.

Four people were arrested at the pool. Dixon and another adult were charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, a Fairfield Police source told the Daily News. A 15-year-old boy faces those same charges, while a 12-year-old girl was charged with assault and resisting arrest, police said.

Dixon, who said she is six months pregnant, was rushed to a hospital for an evaluation after her arrest, but did not suffer any confirmed injuries. She also claimed her niece suffering a fractured jaw and broken ribs, but those injuries have not been independently confirmed, according to cops.

Every officer who responded to the scene was white, a police source confirmed to the Daily News.

Dixon and her supporters insist there was a racial motivation to the officers’ actions.

“I could surmise or opine on why (pool employees) wanted them out,” Dixon’s attorney Clyde Bennett told the Daily Beast.

“They said they’re not appropriately dressed. I’m not convinced that’s why they wanted them out of the pool. There’s a lot of people in Cincinnati who believe they wanted them out … because they were black.”

Fairfield Police have disputed the family’s account and even cited the same five-minute video to illustrate that officers handled the situation appropriately.

“All they are trying to do is calming everyone down,” Fairfield Police Chief Michael Dickey told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “It’s just business.”

Dickey said surveillance video from the pool also shows juveniles trying to fight with officers. A mother told one of the children to grab a taser out of her purse, police said.

A pool employee who called 911 during the dispute also questioned any racial motivation, as heard in a recording of the call obtained by WLWT.

“Everything’s going crazy and they’re videotaping, trying to make it look like a racist thing and it’s not at all,” the tearful employee says.

“They were breaking our policy and we told them they couldn’t be here anymore and it’s really scary and I don’t feel safe.”

The controversy comes during the continuing fallout from a similar incident in McKinney, Tex.,days earlier. A video captured Cpl. Eric Casebolt, a white officer, cursing at mostly black teenagers, slamming a 15-year-old girl to the ground and pulling his gun on teens as police responded to a call about a fight at a pool party.

Caseboltresigned for behavior that his boss called “indefensible,” and the only teen arrested during the incident quickly had his charges dropped.