When 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, instructor, at a convenience store at 3 a.m. on Sunday morning, they reportedly assumed she was in danger, so they handcuffed the crew and sent Thompson to child services.
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 reportedly rehearsing all day, 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 jumped to conclusions and refused to listen to the trio’s explanations.
Consequently, all three victims 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.
Hurd and Kelly were eventually released but reportedly waited six hours in their car for Thompson to be released outside of a CPS facility.
The officers contacted Thompson’s mother, Destiny, who was reportedly taken aback by their alleged accusatory tone. The now-miffed Mom recalled the conversation she had with one of the arresting officers telling KHOU,“’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 question or unforseen situation that would require such documentation to be produced.
Despite the fact that Destiny and her husband faxed copies of their driver’s licenses to authorities, spoke to them at length about their daughter being in trusted hands, and even had the Oklahoma police speak to them as well, the Houston police reportedly still did not believe the parents, Hurd, or Kelly.
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.
Thompson, Hurd, and Kelly do understand why they were questioned by the officers but cannot fathom, why they were not released after providing to the officers all of their official documents.
According to KHOU, both Hurd and Kelly are considering legal action against the police department.