Texas officer in viral photo praised for compassion

The photo of a moment between an officer and young man has been shared online over 41,000 times


PoliceOne Staff 

SAN ANTONIO — A picture of a San Antonio police officer sitting and talking with a young man has gone viral on Facebook after his partner shared the story behind the conversation. 

Officer Josue Vallejo and his partner, Officer Marque Scahill, responded to a suspicious persons call last Sunday. Vallejo told WTHR he saw a young man sitting down in a ditch “rapidly texting,” not causing trouble or doing anything disruptive. 

When Vallejo approached, the young man – who was clearly upset – started to walk away, Vallejo told WTHR. 

“He tells me, ‘I’m going to tell you the truth. I’ve had trouble with the law before. I hate cops. I’m a troublemaker but I just need somebody to talk to,’” Vallejo said. “I'm like, 'I have all the time for you right now. I'm on a call here for you. I'm here for you so we can talk about this.'" 

Vallejo learned the young man’s little brother had recently been killed.  

“He started crying,” Vallejo told WTHR. “I almost cried too. I tried to keep the composure.” 

Scahill arrived at the scene during their interaction and, moved by what she saw, snapped the photo that would later go viral.  

The photo has been shared over 41,000 times on Facebook. The San Antonio Police Department also shared it on their Twitter account, along with Scahill’s caption. 

“This is policing. Sometimes it’s foot chases and cool stories to tell all your friends. Sometimes it’s boring. Sometimes it’s this,” Scahill wrote.  

The SAPD also tweeted their appreciation for Vallejo. 

“Shout out to Officer Vallejo for showing compassion when someone just needed him to listen! #payitforward” 

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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