Black teen arrested for walking in roadway during Texas winter storm

Rodney Reese, 18, was walking home from his Walmart job when officers arrested him in Plano, Texas

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A teenager was arrested in Texas last week while walking home.

Rodney Reese, 18, was on his way home from his Walmart job just a few blocks away when officers arrested him in Plano, Texas. The teen was forced into the back of a police car on February 16, charged with a misdemeanor, and spent the night in jail, per Fox 4.

Rodney Reese
(Credit: Fox 4/screenshot)

Officers claimed they received a phone call requesting a welfare check on a Black man walking in the middle of the street with just a tee-shirt on and stumbling in the snow. When officers approached Reese, he assured them he was fine but they decided to follow him anyway.

“I’m on the way home. I’m straight,” said Reese in the body cam footage the police have released.

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“Alright, but you’re walking in the middle of the road,” said an officer.

The teen apologized for walking in the middle of the road but explained he was doing it because the sidewalks were icy and covered in snow. After the officers continued to follow him for over two minutes, they arrested him.

Reese said the cause is simply because he is Black.

“Just ‘cause I’m Black, that’s it. It’s ‘cause I’m Black, I fit a description. It hurts, man,” said the teen who is still in high school. “I don’t even think the call would’ve happened [if I wasn’t Black]. Honestly, I really don’t.”

“They just treated me like I was a criminal or something,” he said, adding that he was very afraid.

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The charges were later dropped by Plano Police Chief Ed Drain who supports his officers decision but dropped the charges because they were not consistent with the reason officers went to the scene.

“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,” said Drain.

In regards to if he believes the situation was racially motivated he said, “I can’t get inside people’s hearts, I can’t get inside people’s heads.” 

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