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.
Rodney Reese, 18, was arrested as he walked home from work while wearing a short-sleeved shirt during a snowstorm. https://t.co/9cAGaXLADA— HuffPost (@HuffPost) 1614092516.0
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.
@HuffPost A decent human being, after speaking to the young man & hearing him say he's fine, would have offered him… https://t.co/kKrKt2AXnm— Medina X (@Medina X) 1614093235.0
@HuffPost All they had to do was take him home. So tired of this crap.— Cynthia Acosta (@Cynthia Acosta) 1614092838.0
@NBCNews What’s it going to take to put an end to this?!?!🤬— 🥂🍾✨Fancy Nancy✨🍾🥂 (@🥂🍾✨Fancy Nancy✨🍾🥂) 1614137175.0
@NBCNews The charges were dropped because the story was starting to make headlines. And that’s the only reason. Nor… https://t.co/W584ajcMOe— TheBlackPowerRanger (@TheBlackPowerRanger) 1614138060.0
@NBCNews @BenjaminPDixon I want to be wrong, but nothing will come of this. The damage intended has already been do… https://t.co/65Nc1d0dlM— Ben Payton (@Ben Payton) 1614137747.0
@CBSDFW God forbid you just offer to help the guy 🙄— Trela (@Trela) 1614002880.0
@shannonrwatts @PlanoPoliceDept No freaking kidding. Jesus, he was walking home from work. T shirt, freezing...try… https://t.co/1HiE4zT8bw— 🇨🇦Maskup🇨🇦 (@🇨🇦Maskup🇨🇦) 1614127251.0
@shannonrwatts @PlanoPoliceDept There was zero traffic on that road and it was police overreach. Another example of… https://t.co/10WIXyYPRy— Was Idotennis4fun Former Guy Committed Treason (@Was Idotennis4fun Former Guy Committed Treason) 1614129810.0
@blackvoices A wellness check but they still found a reason to arrest him.— StephE (@StephE) 1614090173.0
@EduardoImperia6 @FOX4 If I was 2 blocks from my house, and routinely walked home, I would not get in the back of a… https://t.co/MaI8Mi472x— Cheryl S. Newman (@Cheryl S. Newman) 1613988213.0
He has to assume his life is in danger, a sad fact. https://t.co/ckX2JPfbd4— Staci 🌱 (@Staci 🌱) 1614132273.0
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."