White teen, black guardians taken into custody claim racial profiling
Landry Thompson, 13, traveled to Houston from her Oklahoma home with her dance instructor and a fellow dancer, where the three were arrested without explanation. The three dancers, a blonde, white female and two adult African-American males, were taken into police custody while stopped at a Houston gas station, and Thompson was placed with Child Protective Services.
Thompson’s dance teacher Emmanuel Hurd, 29, told KHOU 11 they were trying to find their hotel with a GPS when police surrounded the car, made them get out and handcuffed them.
Thompson, Hurd and fellow dancer Josiah Kelly, 22, all told police repeatedly what they were doing there.
“They still put handcuffs on me, and it really scared me,” Thompson told KHOU 11. “And they put me in the back of the cop car. I was terrified.”
The 29-year-old explained that he was given written consent from Thompson’s parents to be her guardian while in Houston for dance workshops and to film a video.
Authorities contacted Thompson’s parents to verify the story. Thompson’s mother, Destiny Thompson, told said she did not like the tone the officer who called had.
She recalled the officer asking, “‘Are you aware your daughter is with two black men?’ And when I said, ‘Yes, I’m aware of that,’ he started calling into question our parenting.”
Destiny said she supplied Hurd with a signed letter of consent, her daughter’s insurance card and birth certificate in case something were to happen.
Thompson was eventually released from CPS back into the custody of Hurd and Kelly
In a statement to KHOU, the Houston Police Department released a statement saying:
Given the age discrepancies between all involved, the fact that all three were from out of state, and the child had no relatives in the area, officers, in an abundance of caution, did their utmost to ensure her safety. In this instance, that involved further investigation by CPS.”
The Thompsons, Hurd and Kelly feel this is a case of racial profiling. Hurd believes it would have been very different had Thompson been black or if he had been white.
Follow Carrie Healey on Twitter @CarrieHeals.