Black Teen Arrested for Walking In The Snow While Black
Walking in snow while Black is a new offense for which we can not only be arrested, but for which we may be killed. Thankfully, this time the life of the young man was spared.
On February 16, 2021, Rodney Reese, 18, was on his way home from his job at Walmart a few blocks away when Plano, Texas police officers pulled up beside him.
Officers claimed they received a phone call regarding a Black man walking in the middle of the street wearing just a tee-shirt and stumbling in the snow. Reese, he assured them he was fine but they persisted, according to the body cam footage the police have released.
“I’m on the way home. I’m straight,” said Reese.
“Alright, but you’re walking in the middle of the road,” said an officer.
The teen explained he was doing so because the sidewalks were covered in ice and snow. After following Reese for two minutes, officers arrested him.
Reese, who was forced into the back of the police car and charged with a misdemeanor, told Fox 4 it only happened because he is Black.
“Just ‘cause I’m Black, that’s it. It’s ‘cause I’m Black, I fit a description. It hurts, man,” said the teen who is still in high school. “I don’t even think the call would’ve happened [if I wasn’t Black]. Honestly, I really don’t.
“They just treated me like I was a criminal or something,” he said, adding how fearful he was during the entire altercation.
Charges were later dropped by Plano Police Chief Ed Drain, who supports his officers decision to arrest Reese, but says he dropped the charges because there are so many unknowns.
“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,” said Drain.
But the officers did know, he was a Black man stumbling, in the snow, on his way home. And that nearly sealed his fate.