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Wed Nov 28, 2012, 10:55 PM

Photo of Officer Giving Boots to Barefoot Man Warms Hearts Online



On a cold November night in Times Square, Officer Lawrence Deprimo was working a counterterrorism post when he encountered an older, barefooted homeless man. The officer disappeared for a moment, then returned with a new pair of boots, and knelt to help the man put them on.

The act of kindness would have gone unnoticed and mostly forgotten, had it not been for a tourist from Arizona.

Her snapshot — taken with her cellphone on Nov. 14 and posted to the New York Police Department’s official Facebook page late Tuesday — has made Officer Deprimo an overnight Internet hero.

By Wednesday evening, the post had been viewed 1.6 million times, and had attracted nearly 275,000 “likes” and more than 16,000 comments — a runaway hit for a Police Department that waded warily onto the social media platform this summer with mostly canned photos of gun seizures, award ceremonies and the police commissioner.

full: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/29/nyregion/photo-of-officer-giving-boots-to-barefoot-man-warms-hearts-online.html

69 replies, 9511 views

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Reply Photo of Officer Giving Boots to Barefoot Man Warms Hearts Online (Original post)
alp227 Nov 2012 OP
MotherPetrie Nov 2012 #1
Chorophyll Nov 2012 #35
infidel dog Nov 2012 #36
Aldo Leopold Nov 2012 #37
Iggo Nov 2012 #42
joeunderdog Nov 2012 #2
OldDem2012 Nov 2012 #3
lumberjack_jeff Nov 2012 #4
AlbertCat Nov 2012 #31
hedgehog Nov 2012 #5
babylonsister Nov 2012 #6
Historic NY Nov 2012 #7
Smilo Nov 2012 #8
Stinky The Clown Nov 2012 #9
MynameisBlarney Nov 2012 #10
1620rock Nov 2012 #11
AlbertCat Nov 2012 #32
nolabear Nov 2012 #12
Beacool Nov 2012 #13
ErikJ Nov 2012 #14
calimary Nov 2012 #16
RandiFan1290 Nov 2012 #20
AlexSatan Nov 2012 #23
ErikJ Nov 2012 #43
EC Nov 2012 #46
Lightbulb_on Nov 2012 #53
RandiFan1290 Nov 2012 #57
Lightbulb_on Nov 2012 #58
RandiFan1290 Nov 2012 #60
Lightbulb_on Nov 2012 #61
montana_hazeleyes Nov 2012 #15
CADEMOCRAT7 Nov 2012 #17
mrsadm Nov 2012 #18
JNelson6563 Nov 2012 #19
sheshe2 Nov 2012 #21
KurtNYC Nov 2012 #22
Renew Deal Nov 2012 #27
KurtNYC Nov 2012 #30
AtheistCrusader Nov 2012 #34
AtheistCrusader Nov 2012 #33
KurtNYC Nov 2012 #40
AtheistCrusader Nov 2012 #45
KurtNYC Nov 2012 #67
dbackjon Nov 2012 #50
AtheistCrusader Nov 2012 #54
dbackjon Nov 2012 #62
AtheistCrusader Nov 2012 #64
dbackjon Nov 2012 #65
AtheistCrusader Nov 2012 #66
KurtNYC Nov 2012 #68
datasuspect Nov 2012 #24
AlexSatan Nov 2012 #25
Renew Deal Nov 2012 #26
Enrique Nov 2012 #28
robbob Nov 2012 #38
Renew Deal Nov 2012 #29
TheBlackAdder Nov 2012 #39
skeewee08 Nov 2012 #41
midnight Nov 2012 #44
Liberal_in_LA Nov 2012 #47
Liberal_in_LA Nov 2012 #48
jschurchin Nov 2012 #49
willhe Nov 2012 #51
pipewrench Nov 2012 #52
Beowulf42 Nov 2012 #55
dorkzilla Nov 2012 #56
redqueen Nov 2012 #59
NYC Liberal Nov 2012 #63
thesquanderer Dec 2012 #69

Response to alp227 (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 10:59 PM

1. I don't usually have much good to say about cops but K&R for this one

 

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Response to MotherPetrie (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:53 AM

35. Cops are like any other group of people:

some are bad. Some are good. Most are in-between.

This is a really, really good one.

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Response to MotherPetrie (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 01:01 PM

36. Yeah...A good deed in a weary world....

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Response to infidel dog (Reply #36)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 02:03 PM

37. "A good deed in a weary world."

I like that.

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Response to MotherPetrie (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 03:11 PM

42. Me, neither.

But credit where credit's due, that's a good man right there.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 10:59 PM

2. great story

seems like every time a police vid or pic goes viral, it's not good news. nice to see the good stuff.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 11:01 PM

3. Well done, officer, well done. nt.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 11:02 PM

4. My best friend is a cop.

I think he started out like this, and still may be this person deep inside, but police work renders most people, him included, cynical.

Rec'd, because I'd like remind police officers of the ideals that brought them to the job.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #4)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:41 AM

31. Bravo!

Excellent post, lumber-jeff!

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 11:04 PM

5. Thank you!

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 11:05 PM

6. Recommend. I saw this on FB, and I can only

thank the cop for having a heart. We all should.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 11:10 PM

7. Not all are cynical...good work officer.

The officer has kept the receipt in his vest since then, he said, “to remind me that sometimes people have it worse.”

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 11:29 PM

8. Now this is a great example of real community policing

well done Officer Deprimo.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 11:37 PM

9. We usually hear only about the bad cops.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 11:37 PM

10. We need more cops like this.

And damn if this didn't get me all teary eyed.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 11:51 PM

11. My animosity toward cops in general has been lessoned by this humanitarian gesture from officer

Deprimo. May God keep him safe in the performance of his duties. We need so many more like him.

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Response to 1620rock (Reply #11)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:43 AM

32. My animosity toward cops in general has been lessoned

Cops are individuals, like any other group.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 11:54 PM

12. Let us follow his example this winter. Do something for someone who has less.

Good for him. Good for him.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 12:03 AM

13. Heartwarming story.

There's good to be found in the most unexpected places. Bless the young officer, he's a credit to his family and to the department.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 12:16 AM

14. I saw a driver giving woman street corner beggar a jacket.

She put it on immediately and seemed quite happpy. That gave me an idea to always keep old clothes in the car that I was going to take to Goodwill to give to beggars.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #14)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 12:27 AM

16. THAT is a FABULOUS idea!!!

Last edited Thu Nov 29, 2012, 01:18 AM - Edit history (1)

Excellent!!!! Winter's coming. They're cold. Especially if their "home" is a freeway underpass. The photo reminds me of a modern-day St. Martin of Tours.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #14)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 05:35 AM

20. You should have more respect and not call them a beggar. nt

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Response to RandiFan1290 (Reply #20)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:09 AM

23. So she wasn't begging?

 

Beyond that, what does the person know about her? Likely nothing.

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Response to RandiFan1290 (Reply #20)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 03:14 PM

43. I was thinking about using "pan-handler" but I thought that might be worse. Or "spanger"

but that is more for kids sitting on sidewalks I think. Maybe "corner donation sign-holder"?

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #43)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 03:41 PM

46. How about just needy?

Is there something wrong with being a needy person? or downtrodden? down and out? I don't think these are slams on the person, but descriptions of circumstance.

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Response to EC (Reply #46)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 05:28 PM

53. A person who runs is a runner...

 

A person who talks is a talker.

A person who begs is a begger.

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Response to Lightbulb_on (Reply #53)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 07:21 AM

57. A rude person is an asshole

welcome

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Response to RandiFan1290 (Reply #57)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 07:56 AM

58. Just seems like there is a push...

 

... to intentionally call things something other than what they are. As if that will magically change the homeless guy into something he isn't.

Feelgood BS..

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Response to Lightbulb_on (Reply #58)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 08:31 AM

60. mmhmm

We've heard this song and dance before. You are no snowflake.

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Response to RandiFan1290 (Reply #60)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 09:27 AM

61. Good...

 

Glad I'm not the only one.

Here's hoping common sense prevails.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 12:20 AM

15. Stories like this are so touching.

Thank you Officer for your kindness and good heart.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 12:56 AM

17. This brought tears to my eyes.

When I read this in the Times today, it brought tears to my eyes. God Bless Officer Deprimo for caring enough to do such a kind gesture.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 02:55 AM

18. Wish I could rec more than once!

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 05:09 AM

19. Officer Deprimo: Hero.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 08:44 AM

21. It's Random acts of Kindness that bring a tear to your eye.

K&R

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 10:21 AM

22. Anyone else think this might have been staged? The pic taker is a PD communications director...

The photo was taken by Jennifer Foster, a civilian communications director for the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office in Arizona. She said the moment resonated for personal reasons: She remembered as a young girl seeing her father, a 32-year veteran of the Phoenix police force, buy food for a homeless man.


http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/29/nyregion/photo-of-officer-giving-boots-to-barefoot-man-warms-hearts-online.html?_r=0

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Response to KurtNYC (Reply #22)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:16 AM

27. No

But I'm not surprised by the cynicism. This is pretty unusual in NY.

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Response to Renew Deal (Reply #27)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:36 AM

30. I have seen cops help people here plenty of times

but this is a media driven town with a media mogul mayor and the woman who took this picture also works for a police department as a communications director. She seems either pretty observant to have seen the cop go shopping, come back, etc on a cold night, or else this is a story to boost tourism and holiday shopping in post-Sandy NYC.

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Response to Renew Deal (Reply #27)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:51 AM

34. His cynicism is well-founded in this case.

Walk around between Times Square and the Meat Packing district. You'll eventually bump into the guy.

Pro Tip: Look for the guy that STILL isn't wearing shoes.

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Response to KurtNYC (Reply #22)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:47 AM

33. Of course it was.

That guy has been around forever. He carries a sign sometimes that says nice things about the cops, like 'give them a raise'. The cops know him.

He never wears shoes. They know it. Everyone who knows him knows it. He walks around barefoot in snowstorms. Doesn't care. It's his thing I guess.

Next time you see him, or the media sees him, he will still have no shoes.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #33)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 02:53 PM

40. I love New York !

thanks for the confirmation.

In my neighborhood there is a lady who perpetually needs "only two more dollars for nice hot cup of soup" even though there is a free soup kitchen 500 feet away from her on West 82nd.

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Response to KurtNYC (Reply #40)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 03:22 PM

45. Unfortunately they need help, but that pair of shoes, or that 2$ isn't the help they need.

It may keep them alive (well, the guy will just sell or lose the shoes, I don't think anyone knows what he does with them) but true help comes in a very different form.

Half the battle is providing it, and the other half is getting some of them to accept it. (Especially after bad experiences in the past with caregivers, psychologists, pharma, you name it)

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #45)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 04:36 PM

67. I hear you. Although I have seen plenty of homeless and talked to a dozens, I have only

the faintest idea what a horror it is to be a the mercy of this world, or to go through the shelter system or mental health services or the jail system or to live in a railway tunnel or, all of the above.

To me this story going viral and the response here shows me that many cannot believe, or just don't question, that there are people who are essentially professional beggars. They have a location and business hours and they will fight for their spot. The good ones have their own unique schtick like there used to be a guy in front of Big Nick's (77th and Bwy), and he would just complement everyone that walked by. With a big smile, he would look at me and say "Hey Paul McCartney..Lookin sharp'!" and he never asked for money but he made you feel like giving him some. There is a guy who plays loud bad saxophone on the L train (which is more like extortion than panhandling). There was a pro from Brazil who could cry endlessly; he worked at 87th and Bwy in the late 1990s.

And I also learned here that few can imagine the NYC police department doing viral PR. Perhaps it seems too hip for the police to pull off (but they did).



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Response to KurtNYC (Reply #22)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 04:49 PM

50. No - cop didn't even know the pic was being taken, or was taken until sent to the PD.

Grow a heart

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Response to dbackjon (Reply #50)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 05:41 PM

54. The photo was taken by a PR Rep from another police department.

Interesting they omitted that detail.
Also interesting they omitted the detail that the police know this guy, and he's been walking around barefoot for years.

If a news crew went out and found the guy right now, he would still not have any shoes on.


Edit: Have you ever taken a picture of a cop from about 15-20 feet? They tend to notice that shit.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #54)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 11:33 AM

62. It was all over the news here she was

Can't you just accept that sometimes good stories ARE JUST FUCK ING THAT?




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Response to dbackjon (Reply #62)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 01:19 PM

64. Can't you accept that people sometimes embellish bullshit to fabricate 'good stories'?

There are people who have observed and spoken to the individual the boots were offered to. It is known that he knows the police officers, and they know him.
The 'viral' version of the story omits details that might cause people to suspect it was staged, or something less than the noble gallantry it was presented here as.

The guy doesn't wear shoes. The cops know that. So, where does that leave us with the story of a rookie cop offering shoes to a shoeless man, with 'no idea' anyone (a PR flack for a police department) was taking a picture of the event?

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #64)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 01:30 PM

65. You are a sad, patheitc person

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Response to dbackjon (Reply #65)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 01:33 PM

66. No, I'm a skeptic.

I don't blindly consume any bullshit people hand me on a plate, regardless of how 'feel good' it may appear.

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Response to dbackjon (Reply #50)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 04:51 PM

68. If you read the NYTimes piece then you saw this paragraph

where they basically tell you that this is a police department generated piece of PR which is on the NYPD Facebook page and they congratulate themselves on how effective it has been:

By Wednesday evening, the post had been viewed 1.6 million times, and had attracted nearly 275,000 “likes” and more than 16,000 comments — a runaway hit for a Police Department that waded warily onto the social media platform this summer with mostly canned photos of gun seizures, award ceremonies and the police commissioner.
...
“This is definitely the most viral,” said Barbara Chen, a spokeswoman for the department who helps manage its Facebook page.


http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/29/nyregion/photo-of-officer-giving-boots-to-barefoot-man-warms-hearts-online.html?_r=0

Also the article does not say that the officer 'did not know the picture was being taken' -- it says "He was not warned before the photo went online."

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:10 AM

24. rookie

 

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:10 AM

25. Even if it was, does it matter?

 

Unless the boots were taken away after the photo, a good thing was done.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:14 AM

26. That cop is a good guy

I've seen too many people in NYC ignore people like this. One time I saw a homeless advocate that was raising money doing nothing for a woman freezing on 5th ave and 57th street. I said something to him about it.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:16 AM

28. cops and other people that work out on the street at night

give a lot to homeless people.

I worked for a long time overnight at a gas station, it was a city with few lights so homeless people gathered there for safety since it was lit up. Myself and almost all the other clerks regularly gave them money, cops gave them money, cab drivers, EMTs, anyone else who faces the people in need on a regular basis.

I came to see it as a kind of tax. Homeless people in large part around the country are being supported by low-paid workers who happen to work at night. (cops aren't low-paid, but the other workers are).

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Response to Enrique (Reply #28)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 02:44 PM

38. I consider it my Karmic duty!

Or "good luck charm" or call it what you will. If I have change in my pocket (and here in Canada that can be upwards of 10$, given the loonie and twonie) I hand it out to anyone who asks for it, and consider myself lucky that I can afford to do so.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:17 AM

29. And one more thing... It's cold outside

It's been pretty cold here, especially at night. 30's to 40's.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 02:47 PM

39. After seeing a blind panhandler walking into a friend's exclusive high rise appartment...

where he turned out to live.

The cynical side of me wonders if this guy didn't park outside of a store that sold shoes to get a pair so he could sell later on for alcohol.

I hope my second thought on this isn't true, that he really needed shoes, but it's too convenient.

===

I'll buy food for homeless folks that I know are destitute, but not the casual panhandler who approaches me or works the street corners.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 02:57 PM

41. K&R......

Thank you Officer Deprimo for your kindness.....

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 03:19 PM

44. Nice to see...

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 03:45 PM

47. cool

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 03:46 PM

48. more from article

As the man walked slowly down Seventh Avenue on his heels, Officer DePrimo went into a Skechers shoe store at about 9:30 p.m. “We were just kind of shocked,” said Jose Cano, 28, a manager working at the store that night. “Most of us are New Yorkers and we just kind of pass by that kind of thing. Especially in this neighborhood.”

Mr. Cano volunteered to give the officer his employee discount to bring down the regular $100 price of the all-weather boots to a little more than $75. The officer has kept the receipt in his vest since then, he said, “to remind me that sometimes people have it worse.”

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 03:58 PM

49. Thank you officer!!!

NYPD you rock.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 05:07 PM

51. now thats protecting and servinf at its finest

k&r

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 05:11 PM

52. great read alp227

true kindness knows no bounds..

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 06:25 PM

55. justice in a sad world.

This is true police work. Check on officer Mark Zylawy, Portland Police Department. He did it right. And so does his brother in Superior Montana. A highway patrolman.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 10:38 PM

56. I've ONLY had great experiences with the NYPD

When I was a kid, I was what they classify as a "throw away"; parents didnt want me, I was emancipated but had no means to take care of myself. I went from friend to friend, living at various times in NYC and the near Northern Suburbs. I can't even tell you the number of times I was confronted by the cops under suspicion of being either a street person or a prostitute. I was always very respectful toward them and explained my situation. And you know what? Time and again, the officers would disappear then reappear bearing food and hot tea or coffee. I'm sure it helped that I was a white female, but damned if those guys weren't the nicest bunch of people ever. And this middle-aged woman hasn't forgotten the kindness shown to a teenage throw away for one minute. I love these people. Flame away if you want, but they're MOSTLY good people. The bad ones get all the press.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 08:18 AM

59. They interviewed the woman who took the pic, and the cop, on GMT (BBC news show)

May this be a ripple that turns into a wave. That would make for a wonderful holiday season.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 11:56 AM

63. K&R...we need more people like this!

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 02:42 AM

69. He's not wearing them

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/03/nyregion/barefoot-homeless-man-says-hes-grateful-for-boots.html

The implication of the article is that he doesn't wear them because they're too valuable to wear.

My suspicion is that he doesn't wear them because, when panhandling, he collects a lot more if he's not wearing them.

I saw him panhandling (barefoot) on a train on Thursday evening. Yeah, I gave him a buck.

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