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What if he were white? Texas cops drop charges against black man walking home in middle of street

Rodney Reese Plano Texas
Rodney Reese Plano Texas
Rodney Reese Plano Texas
Rodney Reese Plano Texas teen racially profiled by cops walking along street?

Rodney Reese Plano Texas black man charges dropped after arrest walking middle of snowy streets back home after refusing to talk to police. 

Would cops have responded the same way if he was a white man?

A Texas black man was arrested for walking in the middle of a street during a snowstorm last week– with the misdemeanor charge since dropped, police said.

Video of the encounter (see below) last Tuesday shows Rodney Reese, 18, walking home from his job at Walmart in the middle of a snow-covered street when Plano cops approached him just on 10:45pm. 

Police said officers received a call about a black man seen stumbling along in the middle of the snowy street wearing a short-sleeved shirt and were sent to perform a wellness check.

‘Dude, stop, we’re trying to help you,’ one officer said before getting out of a police cruiser. Another cop then asked Reese, who is wearing just a T-shirt, jeans and no coat, if he needed a ride somewhere, the clip shows.

Just trying to make sure he was Ok?

‘Nah, I’m straight,’ Reese replies. 

Police continue to ask Reese where he is going and if he’s okay, to which he replies that his is fine and on his way home.

They continue to follow him for two minutes and 17 seconds, before arresting him in an alleyway.

The officers said they were ‘just trying to make sure’ Reese was OK, but he ignored their commands to stop and talk to them while continuing to head home.

Rodney Reese Plano Texas
Rodney Reese Plano Texas

‘Can you calm down?’ one female officer told Reese. ‘We just want to talk to you … You’re walking in the middle of the road.’

Reese repeatedly said he was headed home and declined the officers’ request for a ride, as well as requests to identify himself. One cop said they were ‘doing an investigation’ on a report of a man stumbling while walking in a neighborhood without proper clothing, the video shows.

Police said in a statement the cops had responded to the scene after someone reported Reese as possibly being impaired or in the midst of a mental health crisis. The officers continued to follow him before putting him in handcuffs, the clip shows.

‘Let me go, let me go!’

‘Stop resisting!’ an officer is heard saying in the video.

‘Let me go, let me go!’ Reese can be heard saying in the footage. ‘What the f–k is wrong with you?’

Police noted that Reese — who was arrested on a misdemeanor count of being a pedestrian in the roadway – was not charged with resisting arrest in the incident.

Plano’s police chief, meanwhile, said the misdemeanor charge was also dropped against Reese because the officers’ response didn’t correlate with the incident.

‘They should’ve taken him home, is where he should’ve gone,’ Chief Ed Drain told KDFW.

Department heads will determine whether an investigation into the incident is needed, KDFW reported.

Black man arrested walking Plano, Texas street
Rodney Reese Plano Texas man walking home. Image via Plano bodycam video.

Racially profiled?

Reese, for his part, said he ignored the officers’ offer for help because he was just blocks away from where he lives with his mother.

‘They just treated me like I was a criminal or something,’ Reese, who spent a night in jail, told KDFW. ‘Just a simple encounter. A simple encounter. That’s why I tried to dodge it, so I could make it home.’

Reese, who is in high school, told FOX4 that he didn’t stop for the officers because he didn’t need their help.

The teen also said that following the police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota last year, interactions with law enforcement make him nervous.

Reese insists his race was the sole reason cops stopped him that night.

‘Just ‘cause I’m black, that’s it,’ Reese told KDFW. ‘It’s ‘cause I’m black, I fit a description. It hurts, man.’

Drain denied those allegations but said, ‘I can’t get inside people’s hearts, I can’t get inside people’s heads.’