Camden, NJ — Last week, a Delaware River Port Authority policeman was called to escort a homeless man off a bus because he wasn’t wearing shoes. Instead of beating the man or harassing him, the officer did something particularly noteworthy.
“I just felt like the gentlemen simply was on hard times. He wanted to ride on the bus but he couldn’t afford shoes, there was no need for me to arrest him for that,” Officer Kenya Joyner, of Wilmington, Delaware, later told KYW-TV.
The incident was captured on camera by Kayla Palmer of Pine Hill, New Jersey who witnessed the man being kicked off the bus.
“We saw the officer pull back up and we thought he was gonna tell him to leave,” Palmer said. “Instead he came out with a box of shoes.”
“That was nice of you,” Palmer told Joyner as she walked towards him. “I wanna shake your hand. You’re gonna go viral!”
“Oh come on,” Joyner replied.
Palmer was, indeed, correct when she predicted the video would go viral as it has been viewed millions of times from her Facebook page.
“He needed some recognition,” she said. “Because you do see some of these negative stories.”
Unlike many of the obviously staged PR campaigns by some departments, it appears that Joyner was genuine in his actions as he had no way of knowing anyone was watching.
Joyner’s actions show us what real community service looks like and should serve as an example for other officers. Had this homeless man lived in a different jurisdiction, he could have very easily been killed.
Filming police is a powerful tool. While it’s denounced by cops who wish to conduct their often brutal behavior without public scrutiny, it can also show the officers who exhibit humanity.
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