When the police come to mind, some of us imagine the officer who doused pepper spray on sitting protesters in Davis, California, stop-and-frisk-happy officers in New York City or that jerk cop who pulled you over for speeding. Surely, these aren’t the most benevolent examples of police activity.
One photo that is going viral may put the police in a more positive light. Jennifer Foster, an Arizona tourist visiting New York City, witnessed Officer Larry DePrimo encountering a barefoot homeless man on Seventh Avenue and 44th Street near Times Square. What happened next was amazing. The officer went into a Sketchers store and bought the homeless man a pair of winter boots and socks. DePrimo also offered to put the boots and socks on for him, and that’s when Foster snapped a photo.
DePrimo told Newsday that he didn’t think much of it at the time and said the homeless man felt like he “gave him a million dollars.” Many others on Facebook saw the rare show of generosity and made this photo posted on the New York Police Department’s page viral, with more than 353,000 likes and nearly 100,000 shares. It also helped boost the popularity of the 5-month-old NYPD page, boosting its likes to over 100,000.