The police in this country are back in the spotlight again this week after a one officer was found innocent of first degree murder charges, and another shot and killed a suicidal college student. Here’s a feel-good story that shows one officer going above and beyond the call of duty that shows what is possible.
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The incident happened in Henrico County, Virginia. A Henrico County Police officer pulled over a driver becasue her brake lights weren’t working. These stories, when they make the news, don’t typically have happy endings.
This one does. Officer Jenkins pulled over Chy-Niece Thacker. “As he walked to the car and I was pulling out my stuff,” Thacker said “he quickly said, ‘Don’t worry about pulling anything out. I just want you to know that your brake lights are out.'”
She posted about the encounter on social media. Thacker had replaced her brake lights in July, so was surprised to hear they weren’t working.
“He looked at me like 😨 and told me to pop the trunk. He checked the lights in the trunk and tapped them, but they didn’t come on. So he told me to pop the hood to check the relay box then asked me to get out to check the other one,” she wrote.
Thacker told WTVR that Officer Jenkins was more concerned with her safety than with writing a ticket, which he could have done.
“I don’t want anyone slamming into the back of you,” Officer Jenkins said to her.
“He could’ve easily given me a ticket, but Officer Jenkins stepped out of officer role and into mechanic role to make sure I was straight. #HesABlessing,” she posted on Facebook.
The incident has gone viral. It typifies the best kind of community relations. These moments, though not uncommon, rarely get the social media attention they deserve. The controversial interactions of law enforcement end up dominating headlines and being reduced to the simplicity required for a tweet.