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Charges dropped against Black teen arrested for walking in middle of icy street in Texas

Domingo Ramirez Jr., Fort Worth Star-Telegram on

Published in News & Features

FORT WORTH, Texas — A Black Plano teen arrested for walking in the middle of the street in frigid conditions last week will not face charges in the incident, according to news reports.

Plano Police Chief Ed Drain told KDFW-TV he's dropping a charge against 18-year-old Rodney Reese, who was arrested and spent a night in jail after he was stopped by Plano police as he walked home from work.

"There's a lot information that we know about this case that we didn't know at the time," Drain told the television station. "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."

The police chief said the charge of pedestrian in the roadway was being dropped because it didn't fit what officers had responded to that night.

Reese told KDFW-TV he believes race was the issue for his arrest.

"Just 'cause I'm Black, that's it," he said. "I don't think the call would've happened (if I wasn't Black). Honestly, I really don't."

 

Plano police responded to a welfare call shortly before 11 p.m. on Feb. 16. A caller reported that a Black man wearing a short-sleeve shirt and shorts was walking down Hedgcoxe Road and was stumbling.

Officers found the man, later identified as Reese, who was wearing a short-sleeve shirt and long pants.

Temperatures were in the teens, and there was snow and ice on the road.

Plano officers were concerned for the man's welfare and the possibility that could have been in a mental crisis, delusional or impaired, according to a post on the Plano Police Department Facebook page.

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