Memphis Officer Tries To Help Kids Understand That He's There To Help And Not Hurt Them

Memphis Police Department (MPD) Officer Rico Donald drove past children playing in their yard in Whitehaven, Tennessee on April 7. He noticed they got on their knees and placed their hands over their heads as if they were begging for their lives and about to be arrested.

Donald says it's common for children to act this way when he's in uniform, but he wanted to let them know that they shouldn't be afraid. Donald said, "If they keep that scared mentality when they're young, as they get older it's going to be, 'Ok, I'm not scared, but I don't like the police any more.'"

He and his partner decided to pull over and talk to the children. He told WATN News, "I was just trying to assure them, you don't have to be scared of us, we're your friends. No matter what you might see, you can depend on us." Donald shared that he tries to address the stigma against police officers when he can.

He explained, "I think we all know about what's going on in society with police and especially the black community." After speaking with the children he said, "The youngest one wanted to be a police officer. The second one wanted to do sports, and the young lady, she wanted to be a teacher." Donald then played football with the children.

Jamie Wilson, the mother of the kids, told WATN News "It made them feel so good. It made them feel great that he stopped and talked to them." Rev. Keith Norman, NAACP President, said, "Had he not stopped, those kids would have continued to believe that the police are bad."

Donald went on to say, "Kids cry when the police officers come because they're scared -- it's like we replaced the boogeyman. I need you to feel that if you need me, if no one else comes, I'm going to come. I want them to feel comfortable."

Photo: Youtube

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