The city of Plano, Texas is dropping a charge against a Black teenager who was arrested last week for walking in the street during a winter storm.
On February 16, 18-year-old Rodney Reese was walking to his home in the Dallas suburb when he was stopped by police after a call was made for a wellness check on what was described as a Black man in a t-shirt stumbling in the street. He was reportedly on his way home from his job at Walmart.
Plano’s police chief said he dropped the charge against Reese because it doesn’t fit what officers were called to investigate.
In the bodycam footage released by the Plano Police Department, Reese is heard telling the officers he was fine and “on the way home.”
"Alright, but you’re walking in the middle of the road," an officer said.
"I understand that. My bad," Reese replied.
According to FOX4, officers continued to follow the teen for an additional two minutes and 17 seconds, before placing handcuffs around his wrists.
Reese was reportedly arrested for walking in the street and charged with pedestrian in the roadway. He spent the night in jail.
During an interview with FOX4, Reese says he was being treated like a criminal for walking on the road, which he did because the side of it was covered in ice and snow.
"They just treated me like I was a criminal or something," he told the news station.
Reese said he repeatedly walked away because he didn’t need any assistance.
"Just a simple encounter. A simple encounter,” he explained. “That’s why I tried to dodge it, so I could make it home, I don’t know.”
"They should’ve taken him home, is where he should’ve gone," Plano Police Chief Ed Drain said after he defended his officers, claiming they didn’t “know where he lived.”
The police department is still considering an internal investigation over the incident.
Reese says he believes race was the reason he was arrested.
"Just ‘cause I’m Black, that’s it. It’s ‘cause I’m Black, I fit a description. It hurts, man," he said. "I don’t even think the call would’ve happened [if I wasn't Black]. Honestly, I really don’t."
Fox 4 Screen Shot