On a cold November 14th night, a selfless act of humanity by NYPD officer Lawrence DePrimo briefly overshadowed the news of wars, potential financial catastrophe, and crime. DePrimo, a 25 year-old, 3 year veteran of the city’s police force walk on foot patrol in Times Square when he’d spotted a homeless man sitting on 42 Street. The man was wearing no shoes and no socks. According to DePrimo, "It was freezing out, and you could see the blisters on the man's feet. I had two pairs of socks, and I was still cold." At that point, DePrimo could have just as easily did what the hundreds of other New Yorkers going about their way had did—ignored the man.
However, DePrimo walked over to a nearby shoe store, and purchased a $100 pair of all-purpose boots and brought them back for the man.
A New York City police officer is photographed giving boots to a homeless man on Nov. 14. (NYPD/Facebook)
An out-of-town tourist visiting New York (who incidentally works for a local Sherriff’s department in Arizona) had observed and had managed to capture the entire episode on her camera. She took a picture of DePrimo “squatting down on the ground and proceeding to put socks and the new boots on this man.”
The story and the accompanying photo taken by the tourist chronicling this random act of kindness by a true public servant has since gone viral all over the ‘net.
In the past, I have posted reflections on incidents of past police abuse (see: "Here Comes The Fuzz, "Another Police Beating Caught On Tape" and "The Law, Lies, and Videotapes"). It truly is a nice change-of-pace to see what real “public service” is supposed to look like…duty tempered with a smidgeon of humanity and genuine concern. Hats off to Lawrence Deprimo…and take notes bad cops…this is what real policing looks like!