With all the controversy surrounding police and the black lives matter movement, it is refreshing to see this young man’s point of view. Not all cops are bad, and not all black men are criminals. Not all black men share the same views as Al Sharpton would have you believe.
Steven Hildreth, Jr. posted about his recent police encounter on the social media giant, Facebook, and his post has been shared over 135,000 times! The situation described in his post could have gone any direction, given that he had a concealed carry weapon, and it just so happened to be on the same side, his right side, as his wallet which was in his back-right pocket.
So, I’m driving to my office to turn in my weekly paperwork. A headlight is out. I see a Tucson Police Department squad vehicle turn around and follow me. I’m already preparing for the stop.
The lights go on and I pull over. The officer asks me how I’m doing, and then asks if I have any weapons.
“Yes, sir. I’m a concealed carry permit holder and my weapon is located on my right hip. My wallet is in my back-right pocket.”
The officer explains for his safety and mine, he needs to disarm me for the stop. I understand, and I unlock the vehicle. I explain that I’m running a 7TS ALS holster but from the angle, the second officer can’t unholster it. Lead officer asks me to step out, and I do so slowly. Officer relieves me of my Glock and compliments the X300U I’m running on it. He also sees my military ID and I tell him I’m with the National Guard.
Lead officer points out my registration card is out of date but he knows my registration is up to date. He goes back to run my license. I know he’s got me on at least two infractions. I’m thinking of how to pay them.
Officers return with my Glock in an evidence back, locked and cleared. “Because you were cool with us and didn’t give us grief, I’m just going to leave it at a verbal warning. Get that headlight fixed as soon as possible.”
I smile. “Thank you, sir.”
I’m a black man wearing a hoodie and strapped. According to certain social movements, I shouldn’t be alive right now because the police are allegedly out to kill minorities.
Maybe…just maybe…that notion is bunk.
Maybe if you treat police officers with respect, they will do the same to you.
Police officers are people, too. By far and large, most are good people and they’re not out to get you.
I’d like to thank those two officers and TPD in general for another professional contact.
We talk so much about the bad apples who shouldn’t be wearing a badge. I’d like to spread the word about an example of men who earned their badges and exemplify what that badge stands for.
All lives matter regardless of the skin color, profession, or location involved! Thankfully Steven was upfront with the officer, and the officer was able to resolve the matter. Too often we see how horrible these encounters can be, and outcomes that leave families torn apart.
Men and Women across the nation don uniforms to enforce laws, and ensure our safety in our communities every day. They leave their families every day to protect ours, with no guarantee of returning home. No encounter is ever just “routine” anymore. Police officers play an integral role across the nation, and they deserve the recognition for all the good they do. One bad apple should not ruin the bushel!