A touching picture of a conversation between a policeman and a homeless woman appeared on the internet. People liked it, but for some, the innocent picture sparked a heated debate.
In 2020, North Carolina police officer Michael Rivers came across Michelle, a homeless woman. The 29-year-old’s conscience was tortured and he decided to buy a pizza to share with her.
Sitting next to her, Michael Rivers shared a meal with her, talking to Michelle as an equal, the officer later reported that their conversation was informative and engaging.
Cassie Leah Barnes spotted Good Samaritan and Michelle and was so smitten by the beautiful sight that she took a picture of it. Her husband Chris Barnes uploaded the picture to Facebook with a status that read:
“Cassie was on her lunch break and spotted Goldsborough’s top police officer having lunch with a homeless person.”
The post went viral after that. So far it has garnered just over 5,000 views, just under 4,000 reactions and around 500 comments.
Most of the comments were positive and the comments section had a lively energy. However, as usual on social media, controversy erupted, as another user wrote:
“I wish someone would show this to Colin Kapernick (forgive me for mentioning that name)”.
Reactions were mixed, with many saying it was negative for no reason. Some also criticised the homelessness, but most remained sympathetic.
The police officer’s comments on the incident were sensible. He urged people to go beyond their preconceived notions about the police and the homeless. Chief Constable Michael West also commented on the situation:
“The circumstances surrounding our work are often an unpleasant call to serve, but this picture just goes to show that we are human beings just like everyone else.”
Rivers spoke about his views on homelessness, stating that those who live on the streets are just unlucky. He argued that anyone could find themselves in such a situation.