On the De Facto Segregation of McKinney Pools

The Atlantic puts what happened on Friday in context.

The Atlantic puts what happened on Friday in McKinney (mentioned by Liz in “Leading Off”) — a police officer waving a gun at teenagers, forcing one girl to the ground for the alleged crime of trespassing at a private pool — in the context of the segregation, desegregation, and resegregation of America’s cement ponds:

The public pools of mid-century—with their sandy beaches, manicured lawns, and well-tended facilities—are vanishingly rare. Those sorts of amenities are now generally found behind closed gates, funded by club fees or homeowners’ dues, and not by tax dollars. And they are open to those who can afford to live in such subdivisions, but not to their neighbors just down the road.

Whatever took place in McKinney on Friday, it occurred against this backdrop of the privatization of once-public facilities, giving residents the expectation of control over who sunbathes or doggie-paddles alongside them. Even if some of the teens were residents, and others possessed valid guest passes, as some insisted they did, the presence of “multiple juveniles…who do not live in the area” clearly triggered alarm. Several adults at the pool reportedly placed calls to the police. And none of the adult residents shown in the video appeared to manifest concern that the police response had gone too far, nor that its violence was disproportionate to the alleged offense.

To the contrary. Someone placed a sign by the pool on Sunday afternoon. It read, simply: “Thank you McKinney Police for keeping us safe.”

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