Straight from the ‘This Can’t Possibly Happen in America’ file, this story is a case of mistaken identity prompted by anxious police in Austin, Texas. Scott Henson, a political blogger, claims he was stopped by city officers after picking up his goddaughter’s child from a roller skating rink. What alarmed the police: Ty, the 5-year old, calls him ‘grandpa’ and is Black. Henson is White. After being approached by a female officer, Henson was let go but was later surrounded by five police cars making the scene more intense, leading to intense questioning and Henson being handcuffed. Apparently, there had been a white man in the area who abducted a Black girl, and Henson looked suspicious—even when Ty yelled “He’s my grandpa!”
The blogger claims his ‘granddaughter’ was placed into the back of the police car and questioned, ignoring the phone numbers he gave to verify their relationship. "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." Police released the two after contacting the girls mother, but never issued an apology.
Does racial profiling have no bounds? And, what would have happened if Henson were Black and the little girl was White? Same outcome?