A kind interaction between a white St. Louis County police officer and a black civilian on his way to a job interview has gone viral.
The photo shows Sergeant Howard Marshall helping Willie Hatcher tie his tie, so he would look the part as he made his case for a new position.
The touching moment has won the hearts of thousands of people online, as anti-police demonstrations sweep the city.
Sergeant Marshall first taught Hatcher how to tie the tie by demonstrating on himself.
Then he completed the jobseeker’s look by wrapping it around his neck.
A few hours later, the police department confirmed that Hatcher was offered the position.
The police department’s Facebook post reads: ‘[Officer Abenet] Carper and [Sergeant] Marshall were standing at Hanley when this gentleman walked up and asked if either of them knew how to tie a tie.
‘[Sergeant] Marshall volunteered to show him and tie it. He was going for a job interview.’
‘Good luck, friend.’
As of Wednesday night, the photo had received 12,000 reactions on Facebook.
Hatcher later commented on the post: ‘Yes I now have 3 jobs and now I’m famous.’
Marshall told ABC that Hatcher appeared hesitant to interact with him and his partner, at first.
He added that this might have been due to recent unrest in St Louis.
‘It took away the fact that people are mad at the police,’ he told ABC. ‘It was just a great moment between two people. It took away everything from the outside world.
‘It was a very good, peaceful moment.’
The kind interaction comes as St. Louis has been rocked by a series of protests stemming from the acquittal of white former police officer Jason Stockley in the killing of black suspect Anthony Lamar Smith.
The acquittal was announced on Friday, and the city has seen protests, some of which turned violent, every day since.
Stockley shot Smith after high-speed chase as officers tried to arrest Smith and his partner in a suspected drug deal back in 2011.
Stockley testified he felt endangered because he saw Smith holding a silver revolver when Smith backed his car toward the officers and sped away.
Prosecutors said Stockley planted a gun in Smith’s car after the shooting. The officer’s DNA was on the weapon but Smith’s wasn’t.
Dashcam video from Stockley’s cruiser recorded him saying he was ‘going to kill this (expletive).’ Less than a minute later, he shot Smith five times.
Stockley’s lawyer dismissed the comment as ‘human emotions’ during a dangerous pursuit.
St. Louis Circuit Judge Timothy Wilson, who said prosecutors didn’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Stockley murdered Smith, said the statement could be ambiguous.
Stockley left the police department and moved to Houston three years ago.
SOURCE: Daily Mail