Houston Police placed Landry Thompson, 13, in the custody of Child Protective Services after finding her at a gas station in the legal custody of two black guardians, who are also her dance instructors.
Landry’s mother, Destiny, had signed legal papers giving dance instructors Emmanuel Hurd and Emmanuel Cross (who are both black) guardianship over her daughter while Landry was traveling from Tulsa, Okla., to Houston for dance training.
Thompson, Hurd and Cross had stopped at a gas station while trying to find their hotel on Saturday night when they were surrounded by police cars (video below).
“We were on the GPS trying to figure out where the hotel was,” Hurd told KHOU. “They just pulled us out of the car and put our hands behind our backs like we were criminals.”
“The officer asked me, ‘Who’s the girl?’ and I said, ‘She’s my student,’” added Hurd. “I told him I had a notarized letter from her parents stating that we have full guardianship over her while we’re here.”
However, police dismissed their story and handcuffed Thompson.
“They still put handcuffs on me and it really scared me,” recalled Thompson. “They put me in the back of a cop car and I was terrified.”
Destiny was stunned to find out that her daughter was placed in Child Protective Services.
“She was with the people I wanted her to be with,” said Destiny. “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.”
According to DailyKos.com, Child Protective Services demanded that Destiny fly to Houston to pick up her daughter, but for reasons unknown released her into the custody of Hurd only 11 hours later.
The Houston Police Department has refused to comment on the situation.