A dance troupe has claimed to be victims of racial profiling while traveling in Texas. Houston police reportedly stopped the troupe when they saw a white female and two black males sharing a vehicle. Landry Thompson, the white female who is 13 years old, told KHOU-TV she and her dance partner along with their instructor were approached by policemen at 3 a.m. when they stopped at a Houston gas station.
Although the trio told police they were a dance group from Tulsa, Oklahoma and had spent the day recording a dance video with a local Houston group called Planet Funk Academy, the officers didn’t believe their story. According to the Daily News, Landry stated:
“They were convinced I was a runaway. ”
So Landry, her dance partner Josiah Kelly, 22, and their dance instructor, 29-year-old Emmanuel Hurd, were taken into custody by the police. Once at the station, the police called Landry’s mother, Destiny Thompson, to confirm her story. The policeman who spoke to Thompson allegedly stated: “Are you aware that your daughter is with two black men?”
After Thompson told the officer she knew of her daughter’s whereabouts, he then began to question her parenting. Thompson mentioned to the officer that her daughter is home schooled so she can focus on building her professional dance career which often gives her the opportunity to travel on the road. Thompson also noted to the policemen that Hurd had paperwork that showed Landry had permission to be away from home.
“Emmanuel had a letter signed by us, had every contact number they could’ve possibly needed,” Destiny Thompson said.
After thoroughly explaining her daughter’s predicament, the police officers told her she would have to drive to Houston to get Landry who was placed in Houston’s Child Protective Services. Although Hurd and Kelly were not charged, they are considering taking legal action against Houston’s authorities. They waited for Landry to be released from Child Protective Services, six hours later from the time she was initiated into the system.
Houston Police Department did not give a comment on the actions which took place but refuted the dance troupe’s claim of racial profiling. The department told KHOU-TV:
“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.”
Below is the KHOU-TV news report on this incident.
Do you think Landry should have been traveling alone with Hurd and Kelly?