Charges Dropped Against Black Texas Teen Who Was Arrested Simply for Walking Home from Work During the Winter Storm

Written by Joe Jurado 

Published on 22nd of February 2021

18-year-old Rodney Reese Screenshot: Fox 4

If you’re reading this, then it likely won’t come as a surprise to you that the cops will arrest a Black boy for no real reason. Last week in Plano, Texas, a Black teenager was arrested and spent the night in jail. His crime? Walking home from work.

According to Fox 4, 18-year-old Rodney Reese was heading home from his job at Walmart when he was stopped by officers from the Plano Police Department who were responding to a welfare check about reports of a man in a short sleeve shirt stumbling in the snow. Reese, a high school student, lives with his mom only a few blocks away and repeatedly told the officers he was fine.

“I’m on the way home. I’m straight,” Reese could be heard saying on body camera footage released by the police. “Alright, but you’re walking in the middle of the road,” one of the officers responded. Reese apologized and continued walking home, but for some reason (guess why) the officers continued to follow him. After two minutes, they put him in handcuffs and arrested him, with the official charge being pedestrian in the roadway.

“They just treated me like I was a criminal or something,” Reese told Fox 4. He explained that he was walking in the street, but the sidewalk was covered in ice. As a result of the arrest, Reese spent the night in jail.

Plano Police Chief Ed Drain defended the actions of the officers to Fox 4. “There’s a lot of information that we know about this case that we didn’t know at the time. Those officers didn’t know his age. They didn’t know he was 18. They didn’t know he worked at Walmart. They didn’t know where he lived.”

I highly doubt that if Reese was a white kid that he would’ve wound up in handcuffs and spent the night in jail.

Reese is similarly doubtful. “It’s ‘cause I’m Black, I fit a description. It hurts, man,” he told Fox 4 of his arrest. “I don’t even think the call would’ve happened [if I wasn’t Black]. Honestly, I really don’t.”

Drain denies that race played a role in the arrest, but added “I can’t get inside people’s hearts, I can’t get inside people’s heads.” The police chief has dropped the charge against Reese because the officers were supposed to conduct a welfare check, not an arrest. He added that the department will determine if an investigation is needed and admitted that Reese shouldn’t have been taken to jail.

“They should’ve taken him home, is where he should’ve gone,” Drain told Fox 4.

Yeah, no shit.

As messed up as this situation is, it’s fortunate that Reese made it out unharmed. We know all too well that, unfortunately, that’s often not the case.

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