When there’s a cop car lurking around, following you, and an officer stops to speak to you, it can be nerve-wracking. Many times we run a mental checklist of what we were doing recently, trying to figure out if we’re about to get a ticket.
Some police departments have tried to change things around by handing out “positive tickets” to recognize when citizens are doing good things.
This follows on the heels of cops pulling over unsuspecting citizens and handing out $100 bills or frozen turkeys during Thanksgiving. Those people who were pulled over were probably sure they were in trouble, at first, but got a much more pleasant surprise.
One mother in Independence, Missouri, was certain she was about to hear about something negative when Officer Joe Holt came up to her in a grocery store parking lot, following her son. But the message he had for her was one of pride and gratitude.
Officer Holt had been on his way to get some food when he noticed a young man remove his jacket to shield an elderly woman walking back to her car in the pouring rain.
The young man made sure she got safely to her car, then went back to the van where his mother was waiting. Officer Holt couldn’t let the good deed go unnoticed.
“She teared up pretty good,” Holt told WDAF-TV, speaking of the mother. “It was a moment between the both of us. I mean, I teared up a little bit. I told her that I was very impressed with him and that he should be proud.”
Not only did he commend the mother and son for their behavior, but he also posted the encounter on Facebook as a way to give people a little hope.
“Kinda long but I’m touched by this kid,” he wrote in a post that was shared by the Independence Police Department.
“So today I experienced something that actually set me back a little. It didn’t set me back because i was shocked but because I got to witness it first hand.”
“With all the hate fueled by color, belief, sexual preference or race it actually pisses me off,” the post continued. “Why, because most of it is based off what they read in the papers. Most isn’t based-off personal experiences.”
“This young black male (teen) exited the backseat of a van he was in while it was pouring rain took his coat off and protected this elderly white female from the environment the best he could all the way to her car. He then walked back to his car all while not saying a word to his Auntie or Mom when he exited or re-entered.”
“I followed him to the van and approached the driver who was his mom. I told this young man I was impressed and he should be proud because I was. His mom had no idea what was happening, because she thought she had done something wrong since I was in uniform.”
Holt continued to sing the family’s praises, noting that the teen “cared less about race, religion or color” and that “the only thing this kid cared about was being kind.”
He also noted that if he ran into the teen again, he’d like to buy him dinner or help him out if he ever needed anything.
“Kiddo If you see me on the street again this guy owes ya a dinner,” he concluded. “You ever need anything I will come running to ya.”
“With as much love that kid displayed that day, that kid could go places and I think he could set an example for what society needs to be,” Holt told WDAF-TV.
“He’s the hero. I’m just the photographer in this situation.”
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