The relationship between community and law enforcement has been strained recently given the political climate, as well as the shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.
Last Friday, a group of officers were eating at a local Pittsburgh restaurant, “Eat N’Park.” A couple walked in to be seated, but when the waiter motioned them over to the area with the police, the man responded “Nah, I don’t want to sit here.”
The officers figured the man wanted nothing to do with police. Officer Chuck Thomas tried to reassure the couple, saying, “It’s OK, sir. You won’t have to worry about it, we won’t hurt you.” But the guy wasn’t buying it.
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Thomas felt like he needed to do something in order to ease the man’s tension. A solution he came up with was to pay for the man’s meal. On top of the receipt they scribbled a note and added a $10 tip. Local news station WTAE said the act of kindness was well received. The couple seemed startled at first, but then began chuckling with one of the officers as they were leaving the restaurant.
Later, Thomas told reporters the reason he decided to do it. “It just dawned on me,” he said. “I should do this real quick just to show this guy look, I don’t know if you had bad experience with the police in the past — you may have you may have not — but I just want you to know I never had an experience with you and I’m not here to do anything to you. And neither will my partners.”
Thomas wanted to remind the public that they are their to serve, and the relationship they share with the public is important to them.
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“Ultimately, we’re here for you,” he said. “This us-against-them mentality that’s out here — we’ve got to change that. We’ve got to break that.”
h/t: Fox News
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