We’ve seen so many surveillance, dash cam and citizen videos of cops doing bad that it’s easy to forget that they can easily be caught on video doing something good.
It’s just not newsworthy, so it rarely makes the light of day.
Unless they are killed in the line of duty.
San Diego Police Officer Jeremy Henwood was shot and killed Saturday while sitting in his squad car about to eat his lunch.
He had just left a McDonald’s where he had purchased cookies for a 13-year-old boy he had met after the boy had asked for a dime.
Henwood had a brief conversation with the boy, including asking what he wanted to be when he grew up, learning the boy wanted to be an NBA basketball player.
Henwood then went on his way with his bag of lunch in his hand, only to be shot by a shotgun-wielding man a few minutes later.
A surveillance video at McDonald’s captured the exchange with the boy.
And the boy, Daveon Tinsley, later confirmed the exchange in a television news interview.
Police shot and killed Henwood’s assailant, but it is still not clear why he shot Henwood in the first place.
As a young, black kid, Tinsley will be sure to be on the receiving end of racial profiling if he hasn’t already.
But that simple act of kindness by Henwood, not to mention his death, might be enough to allow Tinsley to humanize police officers, something that many of us have trouble doing because of our past experiences with them.
And maybe it will be enough for other police officers to humanize young, black kids still in their formative years or just citizens in general, despite their past experiences with them.
If anything, it’s a reminder of life’s improbability. And the importance of lending a helping hand every once in a while.