PLANO, Texas (AP) – A misdemeanor charge has been dropped against a black man who was arrested last week for driving home on a street during a snowstorm in Texas.
Rodney Reese, 18, was arrested on February 16 in Plano and charged with being a pedestrian on the pavement, media reported.
Police said officers received a call about a black man seen tripping in the middle of the snowy street wearing a short-sleeved shirt and sent for a health check.
Police posted body camera footage of the encounter on Facebook on Friday. In the video, the police are seen following Reese and repeatedly asking him where he’s going and if he’s okay, to which he responds that he’s okay and he’s on his way home.
Reese told KDFW-TV he was walking home from work at a Walmart and didn’t stop for the agents because he didn’t need their help.
Officers continued to follow Reese for about two minutes before arresting him, telling him they were “investigating” and informing him that he was being held.
Reese replied “no” and continued to walk, but was again arrested. In the video, a brief scuffle is seen as officers attempt to handcuff Reese, who can be heard demanding to be released.
According to the Facebook post, the policeman who made the arrest noted that Reese had resisted the arrest but had chosen not to charge him.
Plano Police Chief Ed Drain told KDFW-TV that the charge was dropped against Reese because the arrest did not match the reasons officers were called to investigate.
“They should have brought him home, that’s where he should have gone,” Drain said.
Drain supported his officers, saying that at the time of the arrest they did not know Reese’s age, where he worked or where he lived.
Drain also said he didn’t believe race was a factor in the arrest, but added that he “can’t get into people’s heads.”
Reese said, however, that he believed the call that brought officers to the scene and his subsequent arrest was based on the color of his skin.
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