In Fairfield, Ohio, Krystal Dixon had just dropped off her kids and nieces and nephews at the pool for a day of summer fun when she got a call that the kids were being asked to leave because one of them wasn’t wearing a swimsuit. She promised to grab the forgotten swimwear and bring it to the pool, but when she arrived, she and a few of the teenage girls had to be rushed to the hospital following a clash with police officers who had arrived to escort Dixon and her family from the premises.
Dixon and her family provided vastly different accounts of what happened than the police did. The family accused cops of excessive force, pointing to the fact that Dixon, who is pregnant, had to be checked out by doctors after the incident and that cops pepper sprayed teenage girls. What’s more, Dixon’s 12-year-old niece, who officers grabbed by the neck and slammed against the car, suffered a fractured jaw and broken ribs.
Dixon said that she arrived to the pool and was informed by staff that the kids had broken pool rules when the swimsuit-less child swam in his clothes. They were asked to leave, and Dixon started to gather up her children. That’s when, according to Dixon, a park ranger began following her and took out his handcuffs when teens approached to see what was going on.
When Dixon could not provide ID because she did not have it on her, the officer grabbed her arm, and the kids asked him to let her go. From there, the situation escalated.
While Dixon claims the officers used unnecessary force, Fairfield police officer Doug Day said that “they refused to leave and became even more verbally aggressive and belligerent” and that Dixon’s sister “started jumping on the park ranger’s back.”
“Our officers used great restraint,” Day said. “At one point, one of our officers felt his gun was being taken away from him. The only weapon he used was the OC spray, to get someone off the back of the officer.”
But not everyone is convinced of the officers’ account, with Bishop Bobby Hilton, a Cincinnati pastor who belongs to the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, saying, “They’re saying a 12-year-old was assaulting somebody and resisting being arrested. Please tell me, where is she assaulting somebody? Why did the officer have to grab her by the neck and push her against the car? It’s just not right.”
Clyde Bennett, an attorney for Dixon, added: “I could surmise or opine on why [pool staff] wanted them out. They said they’re not appropriately dressed. I’m not convinced that’s why they wanted them out of the pool.”