Apolice officer’s sensitive reaction to an autistic teen in Charlotte, North Carolina sparked a social media conversation on community policing.
“One of the first things I did was to get down to his level, take a deep breath and not say anything for a couple minutes,” Officer Tim Purdy said in an interview with WSOC.
By placing himself in direct contact, he was able to soothe the young man, even making him laugh at one point over a pack of Doublemint gum.
A Facebook post under the photo from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department says the student had left school and was allegedly suicidal. Due to his condition, he was also sometimes known to be violent.
“It’s important that they understand that when there is a situation involving their son or daughter, that we can handle it appropriate without any injury or any harm coming to that individual,” Purdy said in a CMPD video posted to YouTube.
“This is something that tens of thousands of law enforcement officers do every single day, you just don’t hear about it,” he said.
Facebook sopped the story up. Since going viral last week, it has been shared over 720,000 times.