HOUSTON, TX — A teenage dance student took a trip out of state with two fellow dancers to spend a weekend taking classes with some of the top professionals in the industry. The weekend came to an abrupt end when she was seized by police and put into the hands of Child Protective Services because of the way her companions looked.
Young dancer Landry Thompson, 13, and her two companions departed from Tulsa, OK, and headed down to Houston for a weekend of professional dance instruction. Her mother trusted Emmanuel Hurd, 29, and Josiah Kelly, 22, and had given her full consent to the trip.
The group spent all day Saturday in dance class. Exhausted, they departed for their hotel. But they struggled to find their destination.
“We were on the GPS trying to figure out where the hotel was. And we sat there and we dozed off,” said Hurd, her instructor.
The next thing the group knew, there were police surrounding the vehicle. They apparently didn’t think Thompson had any business in a car with her companions, based on nothing but the way they looked.
Thompson is a white female, and her two chaperones are black adult males.
“They just pulled us out of the car and put our hands behind our backs like we were criminals,” added Hurd.
The officers demanded answers. “Who’s the girl?” they questioned, insinuating that the men were kidnappers.
Thompson’s mother had the forethought to prepare a notarized letter granting Hurd guardianship of Landry for the weekend out of state. The group pleaded with the police, explaining the situation, but it fell on deaf ears.
All of them were handcuffed and detained; even Thompson, the supposed victim.
“They were convinced I was a runaway,” Thompson told KHOU.
“They still put handcuffs on me and it really scared me,” said the thirteen year old. “And they put me in the back of a cop car and I was terrified.”
On November 30th, despite the notarized letter, Thompson was placed into the hands of Child Protective Services. Rather than being safely in the care of trustworthy and familiar people, the girl was now locked up with strangers in a shelter.
Thompson’s mother was notified by CPS told that she’d have to fly from Tulsa to Houston to pick up her child, since there was no way they’d be releasing her back to her black friends.
“‘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.
“I was horrified,” said Destiny Thompson to KHOU-11 News. “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.”
After 11 hours of repeated phone calls and hostage negotiations, CPS finally reversed its position and let the girl drive home with the men she came with.
“I would love an apology,” said the girl’s mother.
Houston Police defended their actions in a statement, claiming they had exercised appropriate ‘caution’.
It read: “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.”
Hurd and Kelly are considering legal action against the department, as well they should when they can be impugned as kidnappers because of the way they look.
Earnest thanks goes to all those who have contributed to the operation of this website. We are committed to covering
stories that remain conspicuously ignored by the national mainstream media, and your generous support is essential
to effectively distributing this message. Many victims of government-sanctioned violence offer their gratitude.
View KHOU’s coverage of the story below:
Keep police accountable for treating people like criminals without any evidence.