A white Texas man is claiming that he was arrested for walking with his goddaughter's child, who is black and refers to him as her grandfather, according to the Daily News.
The man, Scott Henson, who moonlights as a journalist researching the criminal-justice system and writes for his blog Grits for Breakfast, said he was walking with 5-year-old Ty when he was approached by a police officer. The officer told him to step away from the girl as he informed Henson that there were reports of a white man kidnapping a black girl. They also questioned Ty, who said, "He's my grandpa."
Ty's statement that Henson was her grandfather was enough for the cops, who let the two go, but that wasn't the end of it. A few hours later, the two were stopped by a crowd of police. Henson says that officers took out lasers, roughed him up and cuffed him while his granddaugher edged away, crying.
Henson said that he gave the Austin Police Department the contact number for Ty's mother, but they didn't seem interested in calling at first. Eventually they made the phone call and verified the information.
Henson spoke about the incident on his blog. "I hated for a five-year-old to be subjected to such an experience," Henson wrote. "I'd like her to view police as people she can trust instead of threats to her and her family, but it's possible I live in the wrong neighborhood for that."
Instead of jumping the gun, the Austin police should have called Ty's mother to verify that Henson's story was correct. This is yet another example of police officers letting their instincts and beliefs override procedure.
Read more at the Daily News.