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Mon Dec 3, 2012, 02:16 PM

Remember the homeless guy, the cop and the boots?

The homeless guy sold the boots so he could get his "piece of the pie". I think he had better find another sidewalk to camp on.


http://www.salon.com/2012/12/03/homeless_man_gifted_boots_by_cop_has_already_sold_them_on/

As Salon reported last week, the image of NYPD officer Larry Deprimo giving a pair of new boots to a homeless man in Times Square became an online sensation when the NYPD posted the tourist’s photo to Facebook. The reality of how the story played out, however, further illustrates that one heartwarming picture can offer a misleading narrative about the challenges of homelessness in New York.

The New York Times found the homeless man in the picture – identified him as Jeffrey Hillman — wandering in Manhattan Sunday night, once again barefoot. He told the paper, when asked about the boots he had been gifted, “they are worth a lot of money.” He also noted that despite being grateful for DePrimo’s gift, he wanted a “piece of the pie” with regards to his Internet fame, as his image was posted “without permission.”

58 replies, 5018 views

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Reply Remember the homeless guy, the cop and the boots? (Original post)
DollarBillHines Dec 2012 OP
datasuspect Dec 2012 #1
The Velveteen Ocelot Dec 2012 #2
TeeYiYi Dec 2012 #5
AngryOldDem Dec 2012 #36
Delphinus Dec 2012 #3
CreekDog Dec 2012 #27
Marrah_G Dec 2012 #42
CreekDog Dec 2012 #43
RiverSong Dec 2012 #51
Marrah_G Dec 2012 #57
kooljerk666 Dec 2012 #4
Enrique Dec 2012 #6
Marrah_G Dec 2012 #9
intheflow Dec 2012 #14
Enrique Dec 2012 #16
intheflow Dec 2012 #18
cali Dec 2012 #19
LineLineLineLineReply .
dionysus Dec 2012 #24
Nolimit Dec 2012 #49
NCTraveler Dec 2012 #52
stevenleser Dec 2012 #7
jmowreader Dec 2012 #8
slackmaster Dec 2012 #11
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #22
snooper2 Dec 2012 #30
Egalitarian Thug Dec 2012 #10
slackmaster Dec 2012 #12
kestrel91316 Dec 2012 #20
Egalitarian Thug Dec 2012 #26
suffragette Dec 2012 #13
Oilwellian Dec 2012 #46
suffragette Dec 2012 #58
jberryhill Dec 2012 #15
XemaSab Dec 2012 #29
spanone Dec 2012 #17
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #23
Earth_First Dec 2012 #21
SoCalDem Dec 2012 #34
Stinky The Clown Dec 2012 #25
DollarBillHines Dec 2012 #31
SoCalDem Dec 2012 #35
Liberal_in_LA Dec 2012 #28
PoliticAverse Dec 2012 #32
OldDem2012 Dec 2012 #40
PoliticAverse Dec 2012 #41
JI7 Dec 2012 #33
Nye Bevan Dec 2012 #37
mainer Dec 2012 #38
randome Dec 2012 #39
Sheldon Cooper Dec 2012 #44
randome Dec 2012 #45
Sheldon Cooper Dec 2012 #48
WilliamPitt Dec 2012 #47
Aerows Dec 2012 #50
graham4anything Dec 2012 #53
Recursion Dec 2012 #54
geek tragedy Dec 2012 #55
graham4anything Dec 2012 #56

Response to DollarBillHines (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 02:21 PM

1. when glurge meets street life

 

like a sack of shit thrown into an industrial fan.

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Response to DollarBillHines (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 02:22 PM

2. Oh, well. The point of a gift is giving it,

and the cop did a good thing, notwithstanding the behavior of the recipient. You can't control what somebody does with a gift, since once they get it, it's theirs. And I guess the guy figures he can magnify the gift into something more than boots. It seems a bit tacky, but it doesn't make any difference, karmically.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 02:32 PM

5. Good point...

My mom always said, "Don't give gifts with strings attached."

A tough lesson to learn, but she was right.

TYY

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #2)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 06:12 AM

36. Exactly.

When I worked at a homeless shelter some years ago, my colleagues often thought I was too much of a "soft touch." If someone came to me saying they needed a coat, or shoes, or whatever -- if we had it, I gave it to them, within reason. And, yes, sometimes I got scammed. When that happened, my friends would tell me, "I told you so," but my conscience was clear knowing that I did what I thought was the right thing to do at the time. Over time I did develop a "BS detector," but still, if I saw a need, I tried to meet it.

To me this was never really a "breaking news" story (except, perhaps cynically, for the fact that the cop was being civil; in my experience police can be quite rough with the homeless population). It's Basic Do Unto Others 101.

I could rest easy knowing that I bought the guy a pair of boots that I know he later sold. But I could not rest easy if I didn't do anything, and then kept wondering if the man was walking the streets of New York in December barefoot.

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Response to DollarBillHines (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 02:23 PM

3. Well,

that just sucks.

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Response to Delphinus (Reply #3)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 08:55 PM

27. frankly, i'd rather see him not homeless and taken care of than simply getting boots

if one is homeless, then of course, any sensible person is going to sell them for money.

if they have other problems, they'll walk around barefoot, and they need some care for that.

homelessness is the enemy. the officer was very generous and caring and did a great thing.

now society knows about the problem and should act in a bigger way to deal with the real problems, which go well beyond lacking shoes.

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Response to CreekDog (Reply #27)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 08:50 AM

42. Actually he isn't homeless after all

He is poor, living on SS and vet benes and section8, but he does have an apt. Perhaps not wearing shoes makes him more money panhandling?

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Response to Marrah_G (Reply #42)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 09:21 AM

43. wow.

hadn't realized that.

but i'm in SF and i have seen examples of this before.

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Response to Marrah_G (Reply #42)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 01:22 PM

51. One reason it may be better to give to the homeless shelters and food kitchens. nt

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Response to RiverSong (Reply #51)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 01:48 PM

57. He is still poor

No one pan handles to get rich...

I think either way to give is fine.

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Response to DollarBillHines (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 02:29 PM

4. somebody who needed new shoes is wearing them.............

 

poor guy is probably saddled with addictions & mental illness.

At least someone has new shoes....

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Response to DollarBillHines (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 02:32 PM

6. give it to him

good PR costs money, that photo is valuable to the NYPD, why shouldn't Hillman get a cut?

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Response to Enrique (Reply #6)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 02:43 PM

9. It was not taken by the NYPD

or by anyone working for them.

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Response to Enrique (Reply #6)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 02:49 PM

14. No one has made any money off the photo, as far as I can tell.

Maybe it will get included in the cop's performance review this year, but probably not since it wasn't from an NYPD source. So there is no pie to get a slice from.

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Response to intheflow (Reply #14)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 02:55 PM

16. but the NYPD got good PR out of it

which is worth money. They might be able to calculate how much it is worth. They put the picture up on Facebook, maybe at least give him a standard fee a model would get for an ad.

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Response to Enrique (Reply #16)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 03:19 PM

18. They also have photos up on their fb page of officers

visiting schools. So the schools should get a cut of NYPD PR, too? Also up on the fb page is a photo of officers making a donation to a local hunger program. So the hunger program should get extra money from NYPD because NYPD gave them money and used it as good PR? I'm just saying, this is not realistic. NYPD is not getting more funding based on any of these goodwill gestures. It's just part of what they do for the City - the good part of what they do, that is.

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Response to Enrique (Reply #16)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 03:25 PM

19. I'm sorry, but that's just ridiculous to the nth degree.

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Response to Enrique (Reply #16)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 03:42 PM

24. .

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Response to Enrique (Reply #16)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 01:16 PM

49. His cut of it was the boots.

nt

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Response to Enrique (Reply #16)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 01:26 PM

52. If what you are saying was the case, why would the man get anything.

The money would go to the person who took the photo and was generous enough to release it.

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Response to DollarBillHines (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 02:39 PM

7. Amazing how your perspective and decision making changes when you are poor and desperate

been there. Not homeless like this unfortunate soul, but I understand.

I can understand this mindset completely. When you are at the bottom two rungs of Maslow's pyramid, it isnt pretty.

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Response to DollarBillHines (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 02:41 PM

8. The 'piece of the pie' doesn't seem to refer to the boots

He seems to not know how the Internet works. He probably thinks everyone who posts anything to it gets paid, so he wants the money he believes the picture is earning.

As for the boots...the guy, knowing how the streets work, realizes a homeless guy with new boots will soon be a dead homeless guy with no boots...but if he sells them he can buy food with the money. If the cop really wanted to get this guy shod, old shitty looking boots that wouldn't have marked him as a target would have been better.

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Response to jmowreader (Reply #8)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 02:44 PM

11. Maybe he wanted a cup of coffee and a literal piece of pie

 

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Response to jmowreader (Reply #8)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 03:36 PM

22. +1

 

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Response to jmowreader (Reply #8)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 12:18 AM

30. never look a gift boot in the mouth

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Response to DollarBillHines (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 02:44 PM

10. As replied on the other threads that were posted previously this morning,

 

while the sentiment and ability of the cop is admirable, this man needs mental health care more than he needs shoes.

Good DUers search for previous postings before making their own.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #10)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 02:45 PM

12. Spot on

 

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #10)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 03:30 PM

20. Indeed. But you can't force mental health care on anyone who doesn't want it,

and mentally ill people are notorious for denying they have a problem and refusing treatment.

That was my mom for most of the last 37 years of her life.

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Response to kestrel91316 (Reply #20)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 08:52 PM

26. That is true, but if help were available it is likely that many or even most of those that need it

 

would avail themselves of it during their lucid moments. and the violent crazy people would at least be put in environments more suitable to their needs.

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Response to DollarBillHines (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 02:46 PM

13. Inaccurate Salon headline and more complex situation

What a mess of an article from Salon.

1) Headline is inaccurate
2) Link that indicates it would go to NY Times article as source for this goes to USA Today.
3) Quotes are sourced, but taken out of context.

Salon's headline is not backed up by the NY Times source they cite, or even by the truncated version reprinted in USA Today they link: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2012/12/03/homeless-boots-nyc/1742199/

From the USAToday version, the pertinent text about the boots:

The New York Times found him Sunday night wandering barefoot in Manhattan. The paper identified him as Jeffrey Hillman.

Asked about the $100 all-weather boots Officer Larry DePrimo gave him on Nov. 14, Hillman says he's hidden them because "they are worth a lot of money."

I added the bolding.



The article in the NY Times, which is the source for the above info about the boots, goes into more detail, including that the man is a veteran.
Here's a snippet from it with some of the other quotes above in context. The very different headline is also notable:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/03/nyregion/barefoot-homeless-man-says-hes-grateful-for-boots.html?_r=0

Homeless Man Is Grateful for Officer’s Gift of Boots. But He Again Is Barefoot.

Mr. Hillman, 54, was by turns aggrieved, grateful and taken aback by all the attention that had come his way — even as he struggled to figure out what to do about it.

“I was put on YouTube, I was put on everything without permission. What do I get?” he said. “This went around the world, and I want a piece of the pie.”

He did not recall the photo being taken but remembered well the gift from Officer DePrimo. “I appreciate what the officer did, don’t get me wrong,” he said. “I wish there were more people like him in the world.”

At another point he said: “I want to thank everyone that got onto this thing. I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart. It meant a lot to me. And to the officer, first and foremost.”


Dramatically different than Salon's inaccurate recounting of this and much more complex in terms of both what has occurred and possible reasons why.

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Response to suffragette (Reply #13)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 11:07 AM

46. Thank you

I knew I read yesterday that he claims to have hidden the boots. Why would Salon twist that fact?

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Response to Oilwellian (Reply #46)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 12:57 AM

58. Looks like she's corrected it now

Changed the headline and noted the error.

Maybe just a cynical view of it all and that colored her perception of a quick read of the update?

In any case, giving the boots was a kind act and it looks to me like he needed to be on the receiving end of a kind act. Whatever part of his life was hard on him, whatever of it was self-inflicted, whatever - as with most of us - was a mix of the two, it takes away not a bit from the kindness of the act and the gratitude he expressed.

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Response to DollarBillHines (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 02:50 PM

15. ...and compensation for beer and travel money...

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #15)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 12:12 AM

29. ... which I am owed.

n/t

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Response to DollarBillHines (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 02:57 PM

17. well, he didn't get to go on the Today Show. why is that? he's the guy who needed the attention.

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Response to spanone (Reply #17)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 03:41 PM

23. yes. that is the creepy thing about charity. this film deals with the phenomenon.

 

the filmmaker goes to congo & recommends to the poor that are the objects of NGO aid & international media reporting that they should commodify their poverty so as to profit directly from it (rather than letting the NGOs & journalists profit).

&feature=player_embedded#t=0s

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Response to DollarBillHines (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 03:33 PM

21. So?

Were they not his to do as he saw fit with them?

A good friend of mine, a homeless man who preferred the streets through his own admission was stabbed fatally last year over a 'new' jacket that was given to him by an outreach program.

As was pointed out above, a new pair of boots could very well have proven detrimental to his personal safety.

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Response to Earth_First (Reply #21)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 05:49 AM

34. Years ago, when I worked at a grocery store, there was a homeless lady in our parking lot

We always let her use the bathroom and people brought her food from the deli. She had a cart of ours, but no one demanded she empty out her "treasures".. (That's what she called her stuff..) The boxboys watched out for her (she was well into her 60s)

Someone on our staff helped her get a mailbox at Mailboxes Etc in our shopping center, so she could have a place to receive her SS check, and we cashed it for her (It was not nearly enough to live on). She said she had a son & daughter in Arizona, but she had long ago lost touch with them,..

Several people tried to help her contact them., but she refused..as she did when they offered to take her to see if she could get housing..

She did not want anymore help than she had already been getting.

She was there for the 3 years I was..and probably stayed homeless.. She was always polite, and friendly, but she was a stubborn lady..

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Response to DollarBillHines (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 03:46 PM

25. None of this takes anything away from Officer DiPrimo and his act of kindness.

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Reply #25)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 12:24 AM

31. Exactly, Stinky...

It;s just the reality of life on the streets.
DBH

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Reply #25)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 05:52 AM

35. He gave from his heart, and did not have any way of knowing the man's circumstances beyond the fact

that he was shoeless and on the street.
For that brief time, he had shoes & socks.. If he chose later to go without, that's on HIM..nothing to do with the cop...except that after this notoriety and the subsequent "controversy", he may be less inclined to do it again

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Response to DollarBillHines (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 12:08 AM

28. Here are some details of his life:

Mr. Hillman said he was from South Plainfield, N.J. He said he joined the Army in 1978 and served as a “food service specialist” in the United States and Germany.

He produced a worn veteran’s identification card that confirmed his service.

Mr. Hillman said that he was honorably discharged after five years and that before he became homeless he worked in kitchens in New Jersey.

He has two children — Nikita, 22, and Jeffrey, 24 — but has had little contact with them since a visit three years ago, Mr. Hillman said.

He was reluctant to talk about how he ended up on the streets, staring blankly ahead when asked how his life went off course.

After a long pause, he shook his head and said, “I don’t know.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/03/nyregion/barefoot-homeless-man-says-hes-grateful-for-boots.html?src=ISMR_AP_LO_MST_FB&_r=0

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Response to DollarBillHines (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 05:38 AM

32. USA today followup: Barefoot man given boots by NYPD officer not homeless

The barefoot homeless man that captivated the nation isn't actually homeless.

...

Although he captured headlines as homeless, Hillman has an apartment in the Bronx paid for by the federal government.

Hillman has lived in Veteran Affairs Supportive Housing since 2011.

Despite the roof over his head, Hillman still needs help, NYC Commissioner of Homeless Services Seth Diamond says.

Read the rest: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2012/12/04/barefoot-homeless-nypd-boots/1745911/

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Response to PoliticAverse (Reply #32)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 08:34 AM

40. Has he actually lived in any housing over the past several years? From reading the various....

....articles, none of the writers have been able to say they actually tracked the guy to that apartment and talked with him in that location. Additionally, it has been repeatedly stated that he has a long history of refusing help of any kind.

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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #40)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 08:40 AM

41. Excellent question. Just like with the boots just because he has an apartment doesn't mean

he uses it. His situation highlights how hard it is to help many people suffering from
mental illness.



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Response to DollarBillHines (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 05:48 AM

33. i don't see how this changes anything

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Response to DollarBillHines (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 07:56 AM

37. The only thing I ever give to homeless people in the street

is food, ready to eat there and then.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #37)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 08:04 AM

38. Remember the story of the man who gave out gift certificates to McDonald's?

He said whenever a beggar asked him for food, he'd give them a certificate for a free Big Mac. He later found the same certificates tossed away in the gutter. I always wondered if this were true.

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Response to DollarBillHines (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 08:14 AM

39. Sometimes we put too much stock in a single photo.

A picture is not really worth a thousand words since you usually have little context in which to place it.

It still doesn't detract from the act of kindness of the officer. And it should not prevent the rest of us from giving to those who need it.

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Response to DollarBillHines (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 09:37 AM

44. Someone on this website predicted this last week.

A DUer posted that this guy was well-known in the area, has always been shoeless, and if anyone were to find him the following week he'd be shoeless again. It came true almost exactly as predicted. I wish I could remember who posted that.

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Response to Sheldon Cooper (Reply #44)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 10:12 AM

45. What happened to the eidetic memory?

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Response to randome (Reply #45)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 01:03 PM

48. ...

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Response to DollarBillHines (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 11:16 AM

47. Guy walks down a beach that is covered with dying starfish.

Picks one up and carries it back into the water.

A passerby saw this and said, "What's the point? There are so many. It doesn't matter!"

Guy points to the sea and says, "It mattered to that one."

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Response to DollarBillHines (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 01:19 PM

50. Nice person, does something nice.

Person on the receiving end doesn't appreciate it. Nice person continues on their way, and still does nice things for people, because it isn't about appreciation. It is about doing nice things.

We have enough people in this world that do bad things just to do bad things. Some of us like to do good things, instead.

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Response to DollarBillHines (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 01:27 PM

53. Good for him..The cop sure seems to just have done it to become famous

 

real charity is done without the cameras showing it

just too coincidental that the media was all over this story

and probably some kind of propaganda too

Did the cop have a good laugh doing it?

and the man needed to have signed a release but there was no release, therefore if I were a judge, I would award the guy a million dollars for the humiliation of it all.

And make the cop himself pay. That would be charitable.

I bet movie rights and book rights were talked about here.

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Response to DollarBillHines (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 01:29 PM

54. Well hold on, he also said he'd get rolled if he was out in new boots

It's not as simple as "he hocked them to get some money"; they're a danger to him.

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Response to DollarBillHines (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 01:30 PM

55. The guy isn't even homeless, he's just mentally ill and a criminal to boot.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/05/jeffrey-hillman-criminal-history_n_2244296.html?utm_hp_ref=new-york

The New York Post decided to dig into 54-year-old Jeffrey Hillman's criminal record which includes charges of criminal mischief, harassment. In 1998, he was arrested for allegedly masturbating in front of numerous people. And most recently, in 2008, Hillman was picked up on drug possession charges.

The report follows news that Hillman is not, as was originally reported, homeless. Rather, he has an apartment in the Bronx acquired through a Department of Veterans Affairs program.


Cynicism won this round.

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Response to DollarBillHines (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 01:32 PM

56. If Jeffrey Hillman has access to a paypal account, I will paypal him something right now

 

He should also put the boots up on ebay

They can be an investment, and investments are known to increase in size

One pair of shoes can lead to a new house.

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