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Rachel Brown explains how she was affected when her son, Rodney Reese (far right) was targeted by Plano police. In what seems to be a picture-perfect example of racial profiling, a Black teen walking home from Walmart after the winter storm that pummelled Texas was not only stopped by police but actually arrested and charged with walking on the road, CBS DFW reported.
The charge stemming from Rodney Reese's walk home from work on February 16 was eventually dropped due to what Plano Police Chief Ed Drain explained as an inconsistency between the charge and why officers were called to the scene. Reese, 18, told KDFW-TV he was targeted because of his skin color. "Just cuz I'm Black, I fit a description," he said.

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Rodney Reese — an 18-year old black man — was arrested for walking in the street during the #TexasFreeze, last week. He had just finished his shift at Walmart. He was walking home — with groceries in hand. He didn’t make it. He spent the night in jail. More on @FOX4 at 9. https://t.co/WnDFOZgszj pic.twitter.com/TTJBrwlUWd

— David Sentendrey (@DavidSFOX4) February 22, 2021 Officers were dispatched just before 11 PM to Plano, which is about 20 miles north of Dallas, when someone called police allegedly concerned about Reese's welfare, given he was wearing a short-sleeved shirt during freezing conditions. "Temperatures at that time were in the teens, with snow and ice on the ground," Plano police said in a Facebook post on Friday. "Concerned for his welfare and the possibility of the subject being in a mental crisis, delusional, or impaired, the officers attempted to contact him." What followed, according to police: "As the officers continued to speak with the subject, he continued walking away from them. Officers repeatedly told him they were there to help him. The officers followed him for quite a distance when one officer advised over his vehicle PA system that we needed to speak with him and could offer him help. The subject continued walking away without acknowledging the officers. Officers exited their vehicles and attempted to speak with him. When asked where he was going, the subject replies that he is going home as he continues to walk. Officers ask where was his home and he does not answer. One of the officers stands in front of the subject to block his path while another officer tells him he is being lawfully detained for the violation of Pedestrian in the Roadway as he was seen walking in middle of the street. After being told he was being lawfully detained, the subject responded with “no” and attempts to walk around the Officers. Officers then attempted to place the subject in handcuffs. While doing so, the subject resists their efforts to handcuff him. After being handcuffed, the subject was placed in a police Tahoe and transported to the Plano City Jail. The arresting Officer noted in the arrest report that although the subject committed the Class B misdemeanor offense of Interference with Public Duties by resisting Officers efforts to detain and handcuff him, the Officers elected to only charge him with Pedestrian in the Roadway, a Class C misdemeanor."

Reese told KDFW-TV he didn't stop for officers because he didn't need their help, and police body camera video showed him telling them as much. "I’m on the way home. I’m straight," Reese said in the video. When an officer informed him he was walking in the road, Reese responded: "I understand that. My bad." Officers continued to trail Reese for two minutes and 17 seconds before handcuffing him, KDFW reported. “It hurts man. You don’t know if you gon make it back home from people that’s supposed to protect and serve you,” Reese told the news station. “Just a simple encounter, a simple encounter. That’s why I tried to dodge them so I could make it home.”

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HIS OWN WORDS: I gave Rodney Reese (18) — who was arrested for walking along the street during a snow storm, last week — an open mic as our interview closed. “It hurts, man. You don’t know if you’re going to make it back home.” FULL STORY: https://t.co/hxzQjS2Djl @FOX4 pic.twitter.com/9WjkSV6XFk

— David Sentendrey (@DavidSFOX4) February 23, 2021

It’s unclear if the officers involved will face any disciplinary actions. There is an administrative inquiry underway as well as an open investigation, a Plano police spokesman told Daily Kos in an email.

Drain told CBS DFW he doesn't believe race played a factor in Reese's arrest but that he “can’t get inside people’s heads.”

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

Rachel Brown, Reese’s mother, told reporters during a press conference on Monday she is constantly on her son about making good choices in life. “I instill good choices, good choices. Walk a straight walk. And that night he was walking a straight line, and it landed him a night in jail,” Brown said. “Eighteen years old he should not have been exposed to a jail cell.”

Brown said her son had never been arrested before and he shouldn’t have been arrested on February 16. “He probably rang up groceries for some of those officers’ wives or families that night,” the mother said. “He stayed over late because there were so many people that called into work that day because the roads were bad.”

When asked if he could help get the store together for the next day, Reese said he could. “They left him,” Brown said. “He was one of the last people in the store that night. Everybody else left.” He knew he was only a five-minute walk from home. “He could have called me to come and get him, but he said, ‘ma by the time you warm the car up to come get me, I could’ve been home.”

That should’ve been true.

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Plano has a population that is about 65% white and 8% Black. It has a median household income of about $95,000. ”I moved to Plano for a reason, and that reason backfired on me,” Brown said. “I chose to put him in what I felt like was a good area, a good neighborhood.

“I pay more to live in the area that I live in in efforts to give him a better surrounding, and yet the people that I pay taxes to—I pay their salaries— (...) they didn’t serve him that night. They failed him that night. He worked a late shift. He was rewarded by a night in jail. To me, that just, it eats me up inside.”

Brown said she didn’t prepare her son enough for “good choices, but you’re still going to end up in jail behind it.”

News Source: dailykos.com

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