Dallas Tx. - A 13-year-old white girl traveling with her two dance instructors was handcuffed and taken by police to Child Protective Services, over the pleas of the two black male guardians she was traveling with.
Landry Smith traveled with the black dance instructors from Oklahoma to attend a dancing and training session in preparation for the TV show, "Dancing With The Stars." The three stopped at a gas station in the evening after the practice. Exhausted, Landry dozed off in the car.
The police showed up and surrounded the automobile, asking who the girl was. Peter Jackson, one of the dance instructors, told the officers that he had a notarized letter from Smith's parents establishing his guardianship during the trip.
But the police put both Jackson and Thompson in handcuffs and threw them into the back of the police car. They left the other instructor behind when they drove away. The police officers called Smith's mother only after they brought her to Child Protective Services. Landry told KHOU 11 that she was "terrified."
"The cops took me away from people I love and know and put me with strangers. They had evidence of guardianship. Why didn't they just 'phone my mom or dad?"
She continued, "One of the cops was morbidly obese and the other drooled. We don't have police like that in Oklahoma. I mean wow, they both sort of fondled their guns while all of this was going on. And they were like giving hate looks to Peter and Trayvon. I mean, we've got a lot of wierdo cops in my state, but where does Texas get these guys?"
When Landry's mother was finally called she was told that she would have to fly to Dallas to retrieve her daughter, although police eventually released Smith to her dance instructors 11 hours later.
Initially, the Chief of the Dallas police, Pete Farmhand, declined to comment on the incident. However after reporters from KHOU and other local TV stations cornered him, as he was leaving his office, he reluctantly responded to questions.
"Why didn't you call Landry's parents to verify the notarized letter?" was the first question to the Chief.
He responded, "To tell the truth, there's this traditional rivalry between Texas and Oklahoma, particularly in football, and I guess what I'm saying is that those two boys on my force, in particular one who was a Longhorn before he flunked out of school, just didn't want to make no call to Oakies. And…"
"But," interrupted a news reporter, "Why was a thirteen-year-old girl put in handcuffs? And why was one of the black dance instructors left to sit in his car, but the other cuffed and taken and then let out to walk back to the car. Frankly, all of this makes your policemen look like genetic recessive idiots."
Farmhand responded, " I don't cotton to that kind of talk mister, but I'll answer your hostile question anyways. See, them teenagers, and it just might be Miss Landry Smith, can be treacherous. They may look innocent and all but often they're not. So my peace officers needed to protect themselves against unknown dangers. The child needed to be cuffed."
The policeman said he didn't know why one of the dance instructors was handcuffed and the other left in the car on his own but that "It's just speculation, but the one who got cuffed and driven in the cruiser a little ways and then let out probably looked at one of the officers in the wrong way."
"What you really mean is that a black man in Dallas had better be obsequious to cops, that you're a bunch of racists, right?" asked KHOU news anchor Linda Biersch.
"Well now, hold on little lady. Don't get your panties in an uproar. Geez you sure got a ten gallon mouth on you," the chief responded to the newswoman. But before he could continue, Biersch charged the Chief with "not only being a racist, but a sexist pig too."
"Where are you hiding your confederate flag?" queried another newscaster. "You should get it, bring it here so someone should shove it up your ass," he shouted.
To provide context to the situation, almost none of the TV news people had Southern accents, and some who, had probably migrated from the North, were willing to take any work available so they ended up in part the Old Confederacy.
In terms of the extremely high number of people who did not graduate from high school, the huge total of guns and ammunition stores, nearby NASCAR racetracks, cars with cow horns mounted on hoods, and extremely loud conversation, extreme culture shock will probably be experienced by people unfamiliar with what some call "the land of the boll weavel" when arriving to Dallas.
Of course this reporter is just speculating, but it is possible that some of the TV reporters were taking their frustrations of having to reside in that city out on the Chief.
What is most interesting is that a woman with a strong Southern "drawl," who is a reporter from Dallas' KROK news, was probably the most hostile of all the TV newspersons in her statements to Farmhand.
"If they put your brains in a bumblebee, you'd fly backwards," she said to the Chief.
" Look, you old redneck, I'm a mother of a girl that could have been cuffed and thrown into the backseat of your police car for no reason at all like Landry was. I'll tell you something Mr. child molester, if you did that to her I'd come after you with my 44," she told the chief.
Obviously, any journalistic professionalism had been absent for some time when the reporter form KROK made the threat. Soon after, other Dallas residents, most of them black, joined the TV crews from nearby dwellings. The bright lights and commotion probably attracted them.
At that point, the officers described by Landry Smith as morbidly obese and drooling, along with six other mostly rotund police, joined the Chief.
Soon, the assembly turned into a mob and, amidst much shouting and hurling of epithets at the peace officers, rocks and sticks were hurled.
Police quickly responded and seemed to single out the media for special attention. Cameras from KROK and KHOU11 were smashed and the crews and reporters were roughed up. But Linda Biersch landed a right cross causing an officer to bleed from the nose. After pepper spray and batons dispersed the crowd, Chief Farmhand spoke to the rotund officer who was one of the two that had handcuffed the girl. Farmhand obviously was not aware that this reporter was nearby and able to overhear his remarks.
The chief of police stated, "Hell's bells Bubba, why didn't them Oakies all leave Oklahoma and go to California to pick grapes. And since when did they become enamored with light in the loafers black dance instructors? Well, come to think of it, I suppose you can at least trust your daughter with them."
He stopped talking and went inside the police station after laughing and telling Officer Bubba, " I just bet you had those black boys as scared as a cat at the dogpound."
This reporter would advise travelers to Dallas to take extreme care when dealing with its officers of the law.