In the midst of all the manufactured anti-police protests and anger against law enforcement, it is easy sometimes to forget that cops are human beings like the rest of us.
Sometimes police officers are put in a position where they must choose between strictly upholding the law or indulging their sense of humanity for other, less-fortunate people.
One such situation recently occurred in a Kentucky grocery store, where an officer choose not to arrest a shoplifter due to the particular item being shoplifted.
Officer Justin Roby was responding to a shoplifting in progress at a London, Ky., Kroger supermarket. However, he quickly discovered the alleged thief needed a helping hand, not handcuffs.
“As a police officer, it’s not black and white for us,” said Roby. “There’s a lot of gray. And you have to cipher through everything and you really need to figure out the whole story.”
Roby discovered that the man who was trying to steal from the store was going through financial hardship and was having difficulty providing for his infant son. This led both Roby and the store to decide not to press charges against the man (H/T Opposing Views).
“I found out that the father had attempted to steal or shoplift a can of baby formula for his 6-month-old baby,” Roby explained.
“Me citing him for court wouldn’t have done any good for him,” Roby said. “He’s already short on money, can’t afford formula, so me making him appear in court, he’s still not going to have any food for that baby.”
Rather than arrest the man, Roby decided to help him instead by buying the baby formula himself.
“You put yourself in the situations,” Roby said. “I think, ‘Well, what if me and my son, what if this was us?”
Roby also gave the man some information on various organizations that could offer him more help, including his own police department.
“I think when (some people) look at us, they see just the uniform and just the car, just the tools that we have on our belt,” said Roby. “But behind the uniform, I’m a human being and I’m a person out in this community just like any of them. I have a little boy. I’m a father just like that gentleman was.”
“We’re not these robots,” Roby said. “There’s a human behind the badge.”
Incidents like this, which occur all the time, need to be reported more often.
Police officers aren’t robots, nor are they racist killers searching for a victim to rough up and murder. They are regular men and women with families of their own who are just seeking to uphold the laws while protecting the community from serious criminals.
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