Two Friends Have Strange 'How We Met' Story: One Is A Former Police Officer, The Other Is A Man He Framed

In 2005, one man was stunned when a police officer approached him and accused him of dealing drugs. The man thought there was some kind of mistake, but before he knew it he was being arrested. Shortly after, he was convicted and spent four years in prison.

Today, you might be surprised to hear that the man and that cop are best friends. Andrew Collins, a former police officer in Benton Harbor, Michigan, admits now that he completely falsified the police report. "Basically, at the start of that day, I was going to make sure I had another drug arrest," he says.

Collins admits now that he lied and sent an innocent man to jail. He ruined McGee's life.

"I lost everything," said McGee, who spent four years in prison for the crime he didn't commit. He even had a son on the way, and never got to see his newborn baby boy until the child was more than three years old.

"My only goal was to seek him when I got home and to hurt him,” McGee recalls.

McGee didn't have to worry about that. Collins was digging his own grave with his illegal activity. Somewhere down the road, Collins was caught falsifying police reports, planting drugs and stealing. He ended up losing his career in law enforcement, and served a year and a half for his crimes.

Both men were released and continued living in Benton Harbor. Employment isn't easy for ex-convicts, even if, like McGee, you were completely exonerated for your crimes. So when both men ended up working together in the same place, they knew they had no alternative but to stick it out.

Both McGee and Collins were hired by Mosaic, a faith-based employment agency, to work in a cafe. Maybe due to the agency being faith-based there was a little divine intervention there, because in cramped quarters the two men had no choice but to make the best of it. They started getting to know each other better, and McGee got what he wanted more than anything else: an apology.

"I said, 'Honestly, I have no explanation, all I can do is say I'm sorry,'" Collins says he told McGee.

"That was pretty much what I needed to hear," McGee said.

The men let bygones be bygones, and eventually warmed up to each other. Then they became friends. Then best friends.

McGee told Collins he loves him, and the ex-cop began to cry. "And I just started weeping because he doesn't owe me that. I don't deserve that," he says.

But McGee says forgiveness was freeing for both of them. The Christians want to set an example for others, so together they give speeches about how important it is to learn to forgive, and to redeem yourself when you make a mistake.

The two have written a book together, entitled, "Convicted: A Crooked Cop, an Innocent Man, and an Unlikely Journey of Forgiveness and Friendship."

With racial tensions and the strain between police and people of color being such a problem in today’s world, the story is inspiring. It’s a story that people need to hear today, and that will offer hope for the future.

Source: CBS, Today
Photos: CBS News

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