I want to say that what happened to the two black dance teachers in the following story from Houston’s KHOU was a case of racial profiling, but I can’t. As much as I want to believe that a 13-year-old girl who happens to be white being seen sleeping in a car at a gas station with two much older black men isn’t suspicious, I just can’t. Don’t get me wrong, though my “spidey sense” is tingling just a bit, as a father of four girls, I think I’m going to side with the police on this one. So, do me a favor and check out the following really carefully, and then leave me a comment explaining to me whether you think this is a case of racial profiling, will you? No seriously, I’d really love for us to talk about this because, well, not everything is as they appear to be.
HOUSTON — Landry Thompson loves to dance, and the 13-year-old’s dance instructors get a kick out of it too.
“It definitely is life to me,” said Emmanuel Hurd. “It means the world. It’s everything to me.”
That’s why the trio from Oklahoma traveled to Houston in the first place. To spend the weekend dancing and training with some of the industry’s best.
But that dream of a visit took an ugly turn shortly after leaving the studio Saturday night, when the group, exhausted from their work, stopped off at nearby gas station.
“We were on the GPS trying to figure out where the hotel was. And we sat there and we dozed off.”
They said before they knew it, the police showed up and surrounded the car.
“And so I was kind of freaked out and surprised by it,” said Landry.
“They just pulled us out of the car and put our hands behind our backs like we were criminals,” added Hurd.
“The officer asked me ‘who’s the girl?’ and I said ‘she’s my student,’” said Hurd.
“I told him I had a notarized letter from her parents stating that we have full guardianship over her while we’re here.”
All three dancers said say they pleaded with the police repeatedly telling them their story, but that in the end, none of that seemed to matter.”
“They still put handcuffs on me and it really scared me,” said Landry. “And they put me in the back of a cop car and I was terrified.”
Landry was taken to Child Protective Services. Her mom couldn’t believe it when she found out.
“I was horrified,” said Destiny Thompson. “She was with the people I wanted her to be with. She was with people I trusted. And now she was taken away from those people and in a shelter with people I didn’t know.”
Thompson claimed she was told she’d have to fly to Houston to get her daughter out. But 11 hours later, following repeated phone calls to officials, Landry was released back into the custody of her instructors.
“I would love an apology,” said Destiny.
Now, like I said, I’d like to chalk this one up as another case of racial profiling. As much as I rail against such egregious police practices, believe me, like the parents of the girl involved I too would like to see it that way. However, given that sex trafficking is a very serious problem in this country I’d have to say I believe the police when they released the following statement: “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.” Honestly, if my 13-year-old daughter was asleep in a car at a gas station with two much older white men, I would hope that the cops would have done the same thing. You know, like they did in this story and this story where the suspects were white? But again, I could be wrong; and this could be yet another case of racial profiling. So what do you think?
Watch the video below: