The indictment of an Ohio police officer, in the murder of Samuel DuBose, again thrusts police departments into the spotlight as racist agencies drunk with the power of their positions. Intellectually, we know this isn’t true of all law enforcement officers, but it’s hard to truly believe that when not only do these things keep happening, but they seem to be accelerating. It turns out, there are some good cops left out there. Here are three shining examples.
Police officer comforts Kentucky woman after her sister passed away
A woman pulled over on the side of Interstate 65, in Kentucky, after learning that her sister had passed away. According to a story on Fox News, she was overwhelmed to the point where she started hyperventilating, and she called 9-1-1 for help. Officer John Nissen responded to the call and it could have turned ugly, because there are some police officers that don’t respond well to calls they decide aren’t emergencies.
According to the woman, named Barbie Henderson, Nissen instead sat with her in the car, held her hand and wiped her tears away. He talked to her, made sure that she had water and that her air conditioning was turned up so she would stay cool. Henderson’s other sister, Sondra Barlow, arrived at the scene and saw the officer taking care of Henderson.
Nissen, for his part, said that he could see she was distressed, although he didn’t know what was going on. He said he treated Henderson the way he would want his own family to be treated.
Barlow was so touched by Nissen’s treatment of Henderson that she took a picture, and posted it to Facebook. Fox News says that she wanted the whole world to know that, sometimes, the last people you’d expect to care are the ones who truly do.
Connecticut police officer helps a boy fix his bike
Police were called to a Target on a report that a fight was taking place outside the store, according to ABC News. Police officer Michael Castillo responded, and, upon discovering the boys, asked if they were fighting. The boys said that they were all friends and were just playing.
Castillo noticed, however, that the chain on one of the boys’ bikes was twisted and he turned the bike over and fixed it. He then returned the bike to the boys, and told them to go play somewhere else, while he went on about his business.
A passerby snapped a picture of the scene, unbeknownst to Castillo. She posted it to Facebook, saying she didn’t know who the officer was, but that she hoped he’d be recognized for his good deed. It apparently worked, because this story is gaining a lot of attention.
Castillo, for his part, recognized the kids from his neighborhood and said that they’re good kids. This is a good example of community policing, where officers take the time to get to know the people in their communities. It helps build relationships, trust and understanding. We need a lot more of this.
A Florida police officer buys a homeless man a meal
A Florida police officer bought a homeless man breakfast and then went further by sitting down to eat with him. Officer Erica Hay, of the Ocala Police Department, could have ignored him. She could have shooed him away. She could have at least given him the breakfast and left, and she didn’t. NBC News reports that TiAnna Greene photographed the officer and the homeless man and put the photos on Facebook hoping to bring some recognition to Hay.
Hay said that she saw the man while she was on her way to pick up breakfast at a local donut shop. With Ocala being a smaller community, there aren’t many people she doesn’t know and she knows most of the homeless there. However, she didn’t know this man and decided to take the opportunity to get to know him a little bit. It helps that she likes eating with other people.
These three examples are but a small sample of the good deeds that many police officers do each day. With the media hype and focus on the bad officers—especially those who would murder unarmed black people for seemingly no reason—it’s important to remember that there are good eggs, too. These three officers are shining examples of what police forces should be.
Featured image by Faith Bisson Taylor, via Facebook