Crime Charge dropped against Black Texas teen walking home on road during snowstorm
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An 18-year-old Black Texas man who was arrested last week for walking down an icy road in the middle of the statewide snowstorm had his charge dropped.
Rodney Reese was charged with being a pedestrian in the roadway after police received a welfare call around 11 p.m. on Feb. 16, according to the Plano Police Department.
Reese, reported to be wearing a short-sleeved shirt and shorts, was “stumbling” down the road, according to the caller. Police spotted him, although he was wearing long pants, and were “concerned for his welfare and the possibility of the subject being in a mental crisis, delusional, or impaired” due to the frigid temperatures, police said in a statement.
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Responding officers tried to make contact with Reese, who reportedly refused to stopped and continued walking away.
“Officers repeatedly told him they were there to help him,” police said, and continued following Reese down the road in their cruiser.
Video footage shows Rodney Reese walking home on Feb. 16. (Plano Texas Police Department/)
According to body cam footage released by the Plano Police Department, Reese repeatedly told officers that he was going “home” and asked the female officer not to touch him.
At that point, the officers detained Reese, telling him to “relax” while they handcuffed him behind his back.
“They just treated me like I was a criminal or something,” the high school student told.
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“Just a simple encounter. A simple encounter. That’s why I tried to dodge it, so I could make it home, I don’t know.”
Reese said he was walking home from work at Walmart and refused to stop because he didn’t need help. The sidewalk was too icy to walk on, he said.
“Just ‘cause I’m Black, that’s it. It’s ‘cause I’m Black, I fit a description. It hurts, man,” he told. “I don’t even think the call would’ve happened [if I weren’t Black]. Honestly, I really don’t.”
Reese was charged with being a pedestrian in the roadway, a misdemeanor, although the Plano Police Department publicly said he also committed the misdemeanor offense of interference with public duties by resisting officers’ efforts to detain and handcuff him.
“They should’ve taken him home, is where he should’ve gone,” Plano Police Chief Ed Drain told.
Drain denied that race played a factor in the arrest and said his department is still determining whether to launch an internal investigation.
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