A misdemeanor charge has been dropped against a Black man who was arrested last week for walking home on a street during a snowstorm in Texas.
Rodney Reese, 18, was arrested at 10:45pm on February 16 in Plano and charged with being a pedestrian in the roadway.
Police said officers received a call about a black man seen stumbling along in the middle of the snowy street wearing a short-sleeved shirt and were sent to perform a wellness check.
The Plano Police Department released body camera footage of their encounter with Reese on Facebook on Friday.
In the video, police are seen approaching Reese and repeatedly asking him where he is going and if he’s okay, to which he replies that his is fine and on his way home.
They continue to follow him for two minutes and 17 seconds, before arresting him in an alleyway.
Scroll down for video
Rodney Reese (above), 18, was arrested at 10:45pm on February 16 in Plano and charged with being a pedestrian in the roadway
The Plano Police Department released body camera footage of their encounter with Reese on Facebook on Friday
Reese, who is in high school, told FOX4 that he had been walking home from his job at Walmart and didn’t stop for the officers because he didn’t need their help.
The teen also said that following the police killing of George Floyd, interactions with law enforcement make him nervous.
In the footage, a female officer can be heard calling out to Reese, ‘Hey man, you trying to get home? Are you trying to get home?’
The teen responds: I’m on the way home, I’m straight’.
‘Alright, but you’re walking in the middle of the road,’ the officer says.
Reese replies that he understands that, adding ‘my bad’.
For 137 seconds, the officers continue to follow Reese, who grows more frustrated the longer the encounter goes on.
On numerous occasions, Reese states to officers he is going home, though they repeatedly ask him where they’re going.
Around a minute and 10 seconds into the encounter, Reese asks ‘what do y’all want,’ as he turns down an alleyway with the officers following in tow.
‘We’re just trying to figure out where you’re going,’ the female officer responds.
Reese: ‘Home. I just said.’
Reese, who is in high school, told FOX4 that he had been walking home from his job at Walmart and didn’t stop for the officers because he didn’t need their help
‘Just ‘cause I’m black, that’s it. It’s cause I’m black, I fit a description. It hurts, man,’ Reese said. ‘I don’t even think the call would’ve happened [if I wasn’t black]. Honestly, I really don’t’
The female officer then asks if Reese would like them just to give him a ride home.
‘No, I’m good. I do this like every night, literally,’ Reese says.
The officer then asks him if he’s cold, and asks him what his name is, to which Reese responds, ‘I don’t know.’
She then asks Reese to ‘stop for a minute’ so the officers can talk to him.
Reese asks them to go away, and tells the officer ‘please don’t touch me.’
‘Ma’am, don’t touch me,’ Reese reiterates as the female officer moves closer to him, obstructing his path.
A male officer then calls out that they’re ‘doing an investigation’, to which Reese replies: ‘For what? I’m going home.’
The male officer tells the teen, ‘you are officially detained’.
Reese replies ‘no’, and attempts to walk away from the officers but is stopped.
The footage shows Reese briefly resisting arrest, ‘calling out let me go’ as the officers instruct him to ‘relax’ and ‘stop resisting’.
The scuffle continues for just over a minute before Reese is handcuffed.
The female officer asks him where he lives, but Reese refuses to respond.
‘If he’s not going to cooperate, walk him to the car,’ the male officer says.
Reese is eventually placed in the back of a police cruiser and charged with being a pedestrian in the road way, a misdemeanor officer.
According to the Facebook post, the arresting officer noted that Reese resisted arrest but chose not to charge him.
The high schooler spent the night in jail.
‘They just treated me like I was a criminal or something,’ Reese told Fox4.
He told the network that he had been walking in the middle of the road because the side walk was covered in ice and snow.
The teen explained that he continued to walk away from the officers because he didn’t need help.
‘Just a simple encounter. A simple encounter. That’s why I tried to dodge it, so I could make it home, I don’t know,’ he tearfully said.
Plano Police Chief Ed Drain told KDFW-TV that the charge was dropped against Reese because the arrest wasn’t consistent with why officers were called to investigate.
‘They should’ve taken him home, is where he should´ve gone,’ Drain said.
The chief did however back his officers for checking in on Reese in the first place.
‘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.’
Drain also said he doesn’t believe race was a factor in the arrest, but added that he ‘can’t get inside people’s heads or hearts.’
Reese said, however, that he believes the call that brought officers to the scene and his subsequent arrest were based on the color of his skin.
‘Just ‘cause I’m black, that’s it. It’s cause I’m black, I fit a description. It hurts, man,’ he said.
‘I don’t even think the call would’ve happened [if I wasn’t black]. Honestly, I really don’t.’