People Pull Out Phones When They See What Officer Is Doing To Black Man

After four days of protests against police in Missouri after a white former officer was acquitted in the death of a black man, police felt tensions in the city were high. When a black man approached them, they didn't know what to expect. They were a little startled by his request, but they were happy to oblige.

Missouri has been under a lot of pressure lately as police relations with people of color escalate. Things have gotten so bad that the NAACP has issued a 'travel advisory' for the state, urging people of color, women and any other minority groups to avoid the state, or, if they must go through it, to do so with 'extreme caution'.

After former officer Jason Stockley was found not guilty of the murder of Anthony Smith on September 15, protesters began pouring into the streets. Smith, a convicted felon on probation, was spotted by Stockley and his partner engaged in a drug deal. Smith led the officers into a high-speed chase, and officers say the suspect brandished a weapon. He was shot six times by Stockley and died of his injuries. A judge said the prosecution failed to support their case that Stockley unlawfully killed Smith.

So, when Willie Hatcher, an African-American man approached Sergeant Howard Marshall and Officer Abenet Carper of the St. Louis Police Department, the officers were not sure what to expect. They had noticed Hatcher lingering around a bus terminal earlier.

“He kept staring at us, probably for 10 or 15 minutes,” Marshall explained to Inside Edition. “I didn’t know if he was going to come over and voice his displeasure with us.”

Hatcher decided to approach the officers, but not with criticism. With an important request.

“He asked if either of us knew how to tie a tie because he had a job interview, and he didn’t know how to tie a tie,” Marshall recalls.

The officers were happy to oblige. “I said, ‘Absolutely.'" Marshall added.

The officer then wrapped the tie around his own neck and made a neat little knot. He loosened the tie and slipped it off, handing it to Hatcher. Hatcher was able to adjust it and looked very business-like for his interview.

"I thought it was neat," Carper said. "We always want to have that interaction with the community. It's good to see they can come to us and ask us for help anytime they need to."

The officers were so delighted about the amicable interactions. They were glad that Hatcher felt comfortable enough to go to them with the request.

“He approached us and it took a lot of strength and courage,” Marshall explained. “After dealing with [the demonstrations] all weekend, I was tense and everything. It was such an awesome feeling he trusted us.”

The police posted about it on their department Facebook page. Later, they updated the post with the shout-out, "He got the job! Whoot! Whoot!"

Hatcher confirmed on the Facebook page with a comment: "Yes I now have [three] jobs and now I'm famous!"

Many people jumped in to tag Hatcher and congratulate him for getting the job.

"Willie Hatcher this picture had me teared up a little. God bless you and this officer. All that put their life on the line God bless. We back the blue," said one Facebook commenter.

Source: Inside Edition
Photo: Inside Edition Screenshot

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