Top 10 civilian acts of kindness toward cops in 2016
While it sometimes may feel as if the world is against law enforcement, the truth is the vast majority of the public supports cops
By PoliceOne Staff
This has not been an easy year in policing. But while it sometimes may feel as if the world is against law enforcement, the truth is the vast majority of the public supports the men and women in blue.
We’ve gathered our 10 favorite moments of civilian acts of kindness in 2016. From a moment of solidarity after the tragedy in Dallas to a man offering hugs to cops in the midst of the Charlotte protests, these are just a few of the countless examples of civilians coming together with the officers who serve and protect them. In a year where “divided America” was a recurrent narrative, it’s important to remember that we’re all in this together.
Take a look at our list and add your own moments on the beat that meant the most to you in the comments section. Be sure to check out the rest of our 2016 End of Year special coverage.
After Tyler Carach decided to buy doughnuts for a group of cops with his own money and witnessed the joy the gesture brought them, he made it his mission to spread that happiness to as many LEOs as he could. Through donations, doughnut shops are helping Carach on his quest.
Following the Chelsea bombing in September, a man approached a group of first responders to thank them for their service. He dropped off bags of pastries and coffee as they stood post.
Aiden Best and Nathan Perry set up a lemonade stand and raised money for their local PD as a way to thank them.
“They protect us, every single one of us,” Best said. “And if we didn’t have them, our world would be apocalyptic and there’d be rampage all over.”
The shooting death of SWAT Officer Steven M. Smith rocked Columbus in April. But in its aftermath, a showing of support from the local community went a long way to helping Smith’s fellow officers heal. The power of this outreach may have been best captured in a video of a man who played Taps on his bugle outside of police headquarters, then left.
William Evertz Jr. spent his allowance (which he had been saving for a Power Wheels police car) on lunch for his local PD in what he coined “Happy Kindness Day.” The department was so touched by the gesture that they pooled their money to get the boy the black and white he deserved.
As the communities of Urbandale and Des Moines were in mourning after Sgt. Anthony Beminio and Officer Justin Martin were killed in an ambush attack in November, a woman was captured on camera offering food and water to a local officer. As the pair embraced, she told the officer it was the only way she knew how to help.
Troubled by the rise of anti-police sentiment, 11-year-old Jeremie Bordua wanted to find a way to show officers he appreciated their hard work. So he decided to forgo his own birthday celebration so he could throw a thank you party for police.
For many cops, the July attack in Dallas was their worst fear realized. But out of that tragedy came an outpouring of support that proved no act of violence could ever break the bond we all share. After a citywide prayer service led by then-Police Chief David Brown, civilians lined up to hug Dallas officers and voice their appreciation for all that they do.
Corporal Patrick Ray responded to a call last year of a young girl, Bexley Norvell, who was choking on a coin.
The girl, now 2, invited Ray over for tea as the anniversary of the rescue approached. With all of the negativity surrounding law enforcement, her mother hired a photographer to capture the moment and show the public a different side of policing.
A viral video captured a man giving hugs to officers in riot gear during the second night of police protests in Charlotte after an officer-involved shooting.
Activist Ken Nwadike can be heard calling for peace in the video:
“This uniform doesn’t make him a robot, just like your uniform, your skin color, doesn’t make you a criminal. That’s what I need people to understand.”