A black man in Texas was arrested for walking in the middle of a street during a snowstorm – but the misdemeanor charge has since been dropped, police said.
Video of the encounter last Tuesday shows Rodney Reese, 18, walking home from his job at Walmart in the middle of a snow-covered street when Plano cops approached him for a wellness check.
“Dude, stop, we’re trying to help you,” one officer said before hopping out of a police cruiser. Another cop then asked Reese, who is wearing a T-shirt, jeans and no coat, if he needed a ride somewhere, the clip shows.
“Nah, I’m straight,” Reese flatly replied.
The officers said they were “just trying to make sure” Reese was OK, but he ignored their commands to stop and talk to them while continuing to head home.
“Can you calm down?” one female officer told Reese. “We just want to talk to you … You’re walking in the middle of the road.”
Reese repeatedly said he was headed home and denied the officers’ request for a ride, as well as to identify himself. One cop said they were “doing an investigation” on a report of a man stumbling while walking in a neighborhood without proper clothing, the video shows.
Police said in a statement the cops had responded to the scene after someone reported Reese as possibly being impaired or in the midst of a mental health crisis. The officers continued to follow him before putting him in handcuffs, the clip shows.
“Stop resisting!” one officer said.
“Let me go, let me go!” Reese replies on the footage. “What the f–k is wrong with you?”
Police noted that Reese — who was arrested on a misdemeanor count of being a pedestrian in the roadway – was not charged with resisting arrest in the incident.
Plano’s police chief, meanwhile, said the misdemeanor charge was also dropped against Reese because the officers’ response didn’t correlate with the incident.
“They should’ve taken him home, is where he should’ve gone,” Chief Ed Drain told KDFW.
Department brass will determine whether an investigation into the incident is needed, KDFW reported.
Reese, for his part, said he ignored the officers’ offer for help because he was just blocks away from where he lives with his mother.
“They just treated me like I was a criminal or something,” Reese, who spent a night in jail, told the station. “Just a simple encounter. A simple encounter. That’s why I tried to dodge it, so I could make it home.”
Reese insists his race was the sole reason cops stopped him that night.
“Just ‘cause I’m black, that’s it,” Reese told KDFW. “It’s ‘cause I’m black, I fit a description. It hurts, man.”
Drain denied those allegations but said, “I can’t get inside people’s hearts, I can’t get inside people’s heads.”