Houston Police Deny Accusations of Racial Profiling With White Teen, Black Dancers

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    houston racial profiling dancersWhen Houston police spotted Landry Thompson (pictured left), a 13-year-old Tulsa, Okla., dancer in the company of two Black men, Josiah Kelly (pictured right), 22, her dance partner, and Emmanuel Hurd (pictured center), 29, her instructor, at a convenience store at 3 a.m. Sunday morning, they reportedly they handcuffed the crew and sent Thompson to child services.

    KHOU reports Thompson, Hurd, and Kelly were traveling from Tulsa to Houston to work with hip-hop artists at a dance academy and to perform in a video. After rehearsing all day, the trio said they decided to stop at a convenience store to get gas. When Houston police officers saw Thompson in the company of two Black men in the wee hours of Sunday morning, they reportedly took action.

    All three were reportedly dragged out of their vehicle and placed in handcuffs against the patrol car.

    “They were convinced I was a runaway,” Thompson told KHOU.

    Thompson ended up being separated from the men and placed in the custody of Child Protective Services (CPS), while the men were held and questioned.

    Watch news coverage of this incident here:

    Hurd and Kelly were eventually released but say they waited six hours in their car for Thompson to be released from a CPS facility.

    Now the Houston police department is being called out for the way they handled the situation and are responding to the allegations against them, KHOU reports.

    The officers contacted Thompson’s mother, Destiny, who said she was taken aback by the conversation she had with one of the arresting officers, telling KHOU she was asked,“’Are you aware your daughter is with two Black men?’ When I said, Yes, I’m aware of that, he called into questioning [my] parenting,” the mother said.

    According to Destiny, Thompson travels all the time for dance performances, and she willingly placed Hurd in charge of her daughter. Destiny even provided Hurd with official documents, such as her daughter’s original birth certificate, insurance card and a signed letter of consent from both she and her husband just in case there was some unforseen situation that would require such documentation to be produced.

    According to an issued statement by the Houston police department regarding the case — given the age discrepancies…and that fact that the child had no relatives in the area — officers used an abundance of caution to ensure her safety and sent her to CPS.

    Still, the Thompson family, Hurd, and Kelly are all convinced that their incident with the Houston police department is a clear-cut case of racial profiling.

    The station reports that both Hurd and Kelly are considering legal action against the police department.

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