A Georgia police officer had just finished a brutal 16-hour shift when he witnessed a young black man texting and driving. The cop was exhausted and in no mood to write a ticket. However, he was genuinely concerned for the man’s safety, so he decided to make the traffic stop.
When Lt. Tim McMillan got to the driver’s side window, he was stunned by what he saw. The officer recalled the look on the man’s face in a now-viral Facebook post:
When I went to talk to the driver, I found a young black male, who was looking at me like he was absolutely terrified with his hands up. He said, “What do you want me to do officer?” His voice was quivering. He was genuinely scared.
I just looked at him for a moment, because what I was seeing made me sad. I said, “I just don’t want you to get hurt.”
In which he replied, with his voice still shaking, “Do you want me to get out of the car.”
I said, “No, I don’t want you to text and drive. I don’t want you to get in a wreck. I want your mom to always have her baby boy. I want you to grow up and be somebody. I don’t even want to write you a ticket. Just please pay attention, and put the phone down. I just don’t want you to get hurt.”
McMillan didn’t claim to know the true cause of the man’s fear of police or the solution to it, though he said he desperately wants the latter.
He continued: “I truly don’t even care who’s fault it is that young man was so scared to have a police officer at his window. Blame the media, blame bad cops, blame protestors, or Colin Kaepernick if you want. It doesn’t matter to me who’s to blame. I just wish somebody would fix it.”
Officer McMillan’s message has been shared over 76,000 times on Facebook. The post has clearly struck a nerve at a time when tensions between police and the black community are running high.