I know that here at AfroDaddy.com we tend to rail on police and the legal system; exposing the many unreported cases of police brutality, institutional racism, prison misconduct and the like. Today we are happy to report on a story we found that shows a different side of the police department, or at least of one individual within it.
A photo of a New York City policeman giving boots to a homeless individual has caught our attention and the attention of social media as well. The photo below of 25 year-old officer Larry Primo assisting a fellow citizen on a freezing night is one that is helping to restore a little faith in the kindness and humanity of members of the NYPD.
On Nov. 14, NYPD officer Lawrence DePrimo, who was on counterterrorism duty in Times Square, saw the older homeless man without shoes sitting on 42nd Street. DePrimo, 25, left and then returned with a pair of $100 boots he bought at a nearby Skechers store.
"It was freezing out, and you could see the blisters on the man's feet," DePrimo, a three-year veteran of the department who lives with his parents on Long Island, told the New York Times. "I had two pairs of socks, and I was still cold."
The random act of kindness was captured by Jennifer Foster, a tourist from Florence, Ariz., who was visiting the city. Foster, communications director for the Pinal County Sheriff's Office in Arizona, emailed the photo to the NYPD with a note commending DePrimo.
"The officer said, 'I have these size 12 boots for you, they are all-weather. Let's put them on and take care of you,'" Foster wrote. "The officer squatted down on the ground and proceeded to put socks and the new boots on this man.
"I have been in law enforcement for 17 years," she continued. "I was never so impressed in my life. ... It is important, I think, for all of us to remember the real reason we are in this line of work. The reminder this officer gave to our profession in his presentation of human kindness has not been lost."
Foster's photo has been posted on the NYPD facebook page and has already received over 300,000 likes and over 70,000 shares. Most of the over 20,000 comments have been positive although certainly there are skeptics.
Although some people think the photo may be staged, Foster insists that DePrimo was unaware his picture was being taken: "The officer expected NOTHING in return and did not know I was watching."
As heartwarming as this story may be, there is another side of the coin...
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