The following story reported exclusively by KHOU’s Rucks Russell should send shivers through the spine. The story as reported is straightforward.
Young 13 year old dancer Landry Thompson travelled from Oklahoma to Houston with her two dance instructors this weekend. They came to Houston to train all weekend with some of the dance industry’s best.
They left the studio Saturday night exhausted from the workout and stopped at a gas station. They were trying to locate their hotel on the GPS. Police out of nowhere showed up and surrounded the car.
The Houston police pulled them all out of the car and handcuffed them. Landry Thompson said, “I was kind of freaked out and surprised by it.” Landry’s dance instructor Emmanuel Hurd said, “They just pulled us out of the car. Put our hands behind out backs like we were criminals. He asked me; who is the girl? She is my student. I said I have a notarized letter from her parents stating that I have full guardianship over her while we are here.”
They said they pleaded with the police and told the police their story repeatedly. It did not matter to the Houston Police. Landry Thompson said, “They still put handcuffs on me. And it really scared me. And they put me in the back of the cop car. I was terrified.”
Landry Thompson was taken to Protective Services. Her mother, Destiny Thompson said, “I was horrified. She was with the people I wanted her to be with. She was with people who were safe who I knew would take care of her. Yet they had taken her away from those people and now she was in a shelter, wherever she was with people I didn’t know.
Destiny Thompson was told by Protective Services that she would have to fly to Houston to get her daughter. After many phone calls, Landry Thompson was released back into the custody of her dance instructors.
Landry Thompson’s mother said, “I would love an apology. They owe her an apology.” The trio was back at the dance studio soon after. They will be leaving Houston on Monday afternoon. The Houston police (HPD) is not commenting.
Were Landry Thompson and dance instructors victims of racism or stereotyping?
Why did the Houston police react the way they did? Does it have anything to do with the young dancer being white and the two dance instructors being black males? If the two instructors were white males would the outcome be the same? The dance instructors had the blessings of the parents and a notarized document detailing that. What else were they supposed to do to ensure they would not be treated like common criminals by the police for doing nothing wrong?
Houston Police responds here.