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Thread: Random tourist takes Photo of NYPD officer giving boots to homeless man without knowing anyone was watching

  1. #1
    Jenna's Avatar
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    Tourist takes Photo of NYPD officer giving boots to homeless man

    On a cold November night in Times Square, Officer Lawrence DePrimo was working a counterterrorism post when he encountered an older, barefooted homeless man. The officer disappeared for a moment, then returned with a new pair of boots, and knelt to help the man put them on.
    The act of kindness would have gone unnoticed and mostly forgotten, had it not been for a tourist from Arizona.

    Her snapshot — taken with her cellphone on Nov. 14 and posted to the New York Police Department’s official Facebook page late Tuesday — has made Officer DePrimo an overnight Internet hero.
    Officer DePrimo, 25, who joined the department in 2010 and lives with his parents on Long Island, was shocked at the attention. He was not warned before the photo went online; the department had not learned which officer was in the picture until hours later.The officer, normally assigned to the Sixth Precinct in the West Village, readily recalled the encounter. “It was freezing out and you could see the blisters on the man’s feet,” he said in an interview. “I had two pairs of socks and I was still cold.” They started talking; he found out the man’s shoe size: 12.As the man walked slowly down Seventh Avenue on his heels, Officer DePrimo went into a Skechers shoe store at about 9:30 p.m. “We were just kind of shocked,” said Jose Cano, 28, a manager working at the store that night. “Most of us are New Yorkers and we just kind of pass by that kind of thing. Especially in this neighborhood.”Mr. Cano volunteered to give the officer his employee discount to bring down the regular $100 price of the all-weather boots to a little more than $75.
    The photo was taken by Jennifer Foster, a civilian communications director for the
    Pinal County Sheriff’s Office
    in Arizona. She said the moment resonated for personal reasons: She remembered as a young girl seeing her father, a 32-year veteran of the Phoenix police force, buy food for a homeless man.



    Photo of Officer Giving Boots to Barefoot Man Warms Hearts All Over Web - NYTimes.com
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  2. #2
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    I just saw that on the news and was about to post it, that is awesome.




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    That young officer was raised right.
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    Well I'll be. A police officer that cares. This is not uncommon. Thanks to the lady that took it upon herself to show the world. Good job Officer.
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  5. #5
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    Fantastic. Absolutely fantastic.
    "If anything worthwhile comes of this tragedy, it should be the realization by every citizen that often the only thing that stands between them and losing everything they hold dear... is the man wearing a badge." -- Ronald Reagan, in the wake of the deaths of 4 CHP troopers in the Newhall Incident, 1970

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    This is the stuff that happens constantly all over the country. It never makes the news because nobody is there to photograph and facebook it. One cop does something stupid and it's national headlines and everyone thinks we're jackbooted thugs. I bet everyone here has a similar story of randomly helping someone in a way that's not in your operating manual.

    Good job DePrimo! We all love the car chases and fights but this is why we are all doing this.
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    Update, with more details: ‘I knew I had to help,’ cop says of charity act gone viral – This Just In - CNN.com Blogs

    "You don't think about the money," DePrimo said. "You can see the gentleman's feet in the picture. Just another human being - it's just, you know."

    When DePrimo gave away the boots, the man thanked him with a "smile (that) went from ear to ear."

    "He said, 'Thank you, officer. God bless you and be safe out there,'" DePrimo recalled. "I asked him if he wanted to get a cup of coffee and food, but he didn't want to, and he just kept on going."

    "As a police officer," DePrimo added, "you do things like this all the time. I think that's what a lot of people haven't really noticed, but are starting to notice, which is great. But nothing that's ever gotten this much attention."

    DePrimo said he'd like to talk to the man again, and some people were trying to track the man down.

    Asked about how officers are trained to deal with the homeless, he said: "Unfortunately, if they don't want to be helped, there's nothing we can do unless we feel it's severe to their health. And then ... we can call the homeless outreach program and get them off the street."

    Foster said Friday that she and her husband were about to give the homeless man money, because he had been asking for change. That's when she saw DePrimo approach with the boots, she said, and she took the picture from a distance without DePrimo's knowledge.

    Here is what Foster wrote to the NYPD:

    "Right when I was about to approach, one of your officers came up behind him. The officer said, 'I have these size 12 boots for you, they are all-weather. Let's put them on and take care of you.' The officer squatted down on the ground and proceeded to put socks and the new boots on this man.

    "The officer expected NOTHING in return and did not know I was watching. I have been in law enforcement for 17 years. I was never so impressed in my life. I did not get the officer's name. It is important, I think, for all of us to remember the real reason we are in this line of work. The reminder this officer gave to our profession in his presentation of human kindness has not been lost on myself or any of the Arizona law enforcement officials with whom this story has been shared."

    DePrimo said he didn't know about the photo until a friend saw it on the Internet and told him.
    What an awesome sheepdog!

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    What a fine young man. It proves that there's hope for the future when there are people like him out there.
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  9. #9
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    Annnnnnd there's an update. Spoiler alert: Homeless guy wants more.

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/...134758145.html
    The homeless man who was photographed being given a pair of boots by a New York City police officer in Times Square on a bitterly cold night last month was spotted on the Upper West Side on Sunday. And he was once again barefoot.

    "Those shoes are hidden," Jeffrey Hillman, the 54-year-old homeless man, told the New York Times. "They are worth a lot of money—I could lose my life."

    On Nov. 14, NYPD officer Lawrence DePrimo, who was on counterterrorism duty in Times Square, saw Hillman without shoes sitting on 42nd Street. DePrimo, 25, left and then returned with a pair of $100 boots he bought at a nearby Skechers store, knelt down and gave them to Hillman.

    The random act of kindness was captured on camera by an Arizona tourist, who emailed the photo to the NYPD. It was then posted on the NYPD's Facebook page and soon went viral, generating more than 600,000 "likes," 47,000 comments and countless warmed hearts.

    Hillman—an Army veteran and estranged father of two who said he's spent about 10 years homeless in New York—told the Times he did not remember the photo being taken, but was aware of the attention it's received.

    "I was put on YouTube," he told the paper. "I was put on everything without permission. What do I get? This went around the world, and I want a piece of the pie."


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  10. #10
    lewisipso's Avatar
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    Its practically impossible to judge each situation when doing something like that and know you'll get positive results. It's why we don't. We just do good where we can and hope for the positive outcome. However, statements like that it what goes to desensitizing officers. That and this...
    Hillman's brother Kirk lives in Nazareth, Pa., and according to the Daily Mail had not heard from since January.
    "We love our brother very much," Kirk Hillman told the Daily News. "Our door is always open to him, but this is a lifestyle he's chosen."
    I don't pretend that I know what's up with this guy. Military veteran. Who knows, maybe he has mental issues. Still, my experience tells me he sold those shoes asap for a quick fix.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by lewisipso View Post
    Still, my experience tells me he sold those shoes asap for a quick fix.
    Yep. But as you said it doesn't take away from the humane gesture of Ofc. DePrimo. What this country needs right now is more random acts of kindness and less lawyers.
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  12. #12
    lewisipso's Avatar
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    Yep.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain America View Post
    Yep. But as you said it doesn't take away from the humane gesture of Ofc. DePrimo. What this country needs right now is more random acts of kindness and less lawyers.
    The officer's act of kindness is even more amazing in this context, because he probably knew this could well happen, but helped the homeless man anyway.

 

 

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