The Houston Police Department is responding to charges of racial profiling after handcuffing a teenage white girl and removing her from the care of two black men.
13-year-old Landry Thompson was traveling from Tulsa to Houston with her dance partner, 22-year-old Josiah Kelly, and her instructor, 29-year-old Emmanuel Hurd, to film a video.
Sunday, at 3 a.m., Houston police noticed the trio stopped at a gas station, handcuffed the two black guys and put them in patrol cars.
Officers took the young dancer to Child Protective Services even though she was right where her mother wanted her to be.
The police officers then called Landry’s parents in Oklahoma. Landry’s mother, Destiny Thompson, was shocked that there was an issue.
“’Are you aware your daughter is with two black men?’ When I said ‘Yes, I’m aware of that,’ he called into questioning our parenting,” the mother said.
“Emmanuel had a letter signed by us, had every contact number they could’ve possibly needed, he had her insurance card, he had her original birth certificate, not a copy,” the mother said.
In a statement, HPD said, “Given the age discrepancies…and the child had no relatives in the area, officers in an abundance of caution, did their utmost to ensure her safety” and sent her to CPS.
Landry’s family, Hurd and Kelly both believe this was a case of racial profiling and are upset that they were not released immediately after seeing the paperwork and speaking with the family.
Hurd said he and Kelly are considering legal action.
The instructor and dance partner ended up following Landry to a CPS facility on Chimney Rock.
When they were told to leave the reception area, the men waited in their car for about six hours outside the front door, until Landry was finally released around 11:30 a.m.