Police near Dallas admitted Monday that they had no justification for arresting a black teen who went home in the snow and had not committed a crime.
Plano police officers were called on February 16 to conduct a social check on a man walking around 10:47 p.m. local time in a short-sleeved shirt in the freezing cold season.
In body cam footage posted on Facebook, police officers rolled up to the person who was later identified as high school graduate Rodney Reese and asked if he needed a ride as the mercury was hovering 18 degrees.
Reese, 18, said he would go home after his shift at Walmart and would not need any help.
“No, I’m fine,” he could be heard saying in the footage. “I do this every night. I’m straight.”
The officers told him he was on the street and Reese apologized.
Even so, the officers asked him to stop going and answer additional questions. The teenager didn’t get involved.
“We are conducting an investigation,” said a male officer in the footage.
“I don’t care,” Reese replied. “I go home!”
“You are officially imprisoned,” said this male officer.
Moments later, Reese is stopped and handcuffed.
Officers did not have enough evidence to arrest Reese and detain him overnight on a pedestrian offense on the street, Plano Police Chief Ed Drain said in a statement.
“Our officers had a social reputation. The arrest was inconsistent with the reason officials were there to provide assistance, “Drain said.” That is why we dropped the charges. “
During a press briefing on Monday, Reese’s mother said her son worked late and served customers in need of supplies during last week’s winter storm, according to NBC Dallas-Fort Worth.
“He probably phoned groceries that night for some of the wives or families of these officials,” said Rachel Brown. “He worked a late shift and was rewarded with a night in prison. For me, it eats me up inside.”
Reese said he did the right thing that night. When asked why he didn’t spend more time with the police, Reese said, “I wanted to go home. That’s why.”
“Young black men like me are scared of the police because they kill and arrest us,” he continued. “That’s why I didn’t want to answer a question, I wanted to go home.”
The department said Chief Drain had “opened an administrative investigation to evaluate our policies and procedures.”
However, the department statement did not make it clear whether the officers involved had been disciplined or reassigned. A department spokesman referred these questions to the Plano Police Association, but a union representative could not be reached immediately for comment Tuesday.
Mayor Harry LaRosiliere hopes that “this incident represents an opportunity for the police and the black community to” move forward constructively “and engage in” communication and dialogue “.