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Charge Dropped Against Black Teen Who Was Arrested For Walking In Street During Texas Snowstorm

Charge Dropped Against Black Teen Who Was Arrested For Walking In Street During Texas Snowstorm
Plano Texas Police Department/Facebook; Fox 4 Dallas-Fort Worth/YouTube

The city of Plano, Texas has dropped its charge against a Black teenager who was arrested for walking in the street during the winter storms in the state last week.

The teen, Rodney Reese, who is 18 years old, was walking to his home in the affluent suburb of Dallas when he was stopped by police following a call for a wellness check on what was described as a Black man in a t-shirt stumbling in the street.

Reese was walking home from his shift at a nearby Wal-Mart.

The Plano Police Department released bodycam footage of the incident on Facebook last week but later removed it.

You can watch news footage here:

The footage showed Plano police approaching and eventually arresting Reese.

The footage began with the officers stopping Reese and asking him if he is okay or needs a ride. Reese repeatedly told them he was fine and on his way to his home nearby. But the police officers seemed dissatisfied with that answer, and continued following Reese and questioning them.

At one point, one of the officers points out that Reese was walking in the middle of the street instead of the sidewalk. Reese apologized and continued on his way. The officers then stopped him and arrested him.

While being handcuffed, Reese could be heard pleading to be let go, explaining that his house was just nearby and that the only reason he was walking in the middle of the street was because the snow was so deep on the sidewalk.

He was charged with being a pedestrian in a roadway and spent the night in jail.

In an interview with Fox 4 Dallas Fort-Worth, Reese indicated he didn't accept the officers' offer for a ride because he was afraid of what might happen.

"Just a simple encounter. A simple encounter. That's why I tried to dodge it. So I could make it home."

Reese also told Fox 4 he felt the reason he was stopped is because he is Black.

Plano Police Chief Ed Drain his officers, he told Fox 4 the charge against Reese was dropped because the officers should have taken Reese home instead of to jail.

On Twitter, people were outraged that the arrest happened.

Police Chief Drain, who himself is Black, also told Fox 4 he doesn't believe race was a factor in the arrest, but he "can't get inside people's heads."