https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dOJrATaX4A

In London, Kentucky, the call goes out from a dispatcher for an officer to respond to a shoplifting incident. Officer Justin Roby responds.

During his brief investigation, Officer Justin took a different approach in this case. He was facing a desperate father who was stealing baby formula for his six month old baby. He wasn't stealing because it was cool, or because it was some sort of challenge. That father resorted to shoplifting baby formula because his baby was hungry, and he couldn't afford it.

If we were to believe what Al Sharpton and his protestors continually accuse police officers are doing everywhere, one would think this story would end up with a dead dad and a kid forced into an adoption agency. This however, is far from the truth. Police officers are human too, quite a few of them dads in their own right. They live in the same communities, shop at the same stores, go to the same churches. So when something like this happens, it's not just a black and white definition of the law. It's about intent. About the why.

What Officer Justin Roby did came from the heart, one that beats right behind a badge. Instead of arresting the father who was struggling on severe hard times, he purchased a can of baby formula and let him go. If you haven't seen the prices for baby formula these days, I can attest to the fact that it wasn't a cheap purchase.

The London, Kentucky police department has several programs in place for those who are struggling in the community, and every officer there reviews each case with a serious dose of common sense. They take a measure of the situation, looking at the whole picture, one might say. Officer Justin realized that to arrest the father, who is already short on money, and commit him to a court appearance and a judicial sentence the single father couldn't afford, none of that would in any way help to feed the baby.

Instead of making an impossible situation worse, an act of humanity from a police officer helped steer a single dad in the right direction. The perpetrator was stunned into silence, but eventually shook the officer's hand once the true level of compassion sank in. No violence. No gunshots.  No brutal arrests.

The anti-police movement, fueled by rhetoric from those like Al Sharpton and his followers, paint an unrealistic picture for most communities in America. The police, like any other human agency, isn't perfect. They aren't infallible. The faults of the few should never be the full representation of the many good men in uniform who put their lives on the line, each and every day. Not just for themselves, but for the people they serve in their communities.

Al Sharpton will never tout the virtues that are symbolized by Police Officers like Justin Roby. Why should he? There is no money to be made on true humanitarian events, no protestors to fund his road trips from one hostile podium to the next.  People like Sharpton, circling tragedy like the vultures they are, can't stand the idea of a good cop doing the right thing in a struggling community.

Justin Roby is a father. He's a caring human being. He's also a Police Officer. It's a damned good thing there are more out there like him than not.

 

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