A Facebook post about one African-American man’s interaction with his local police officers has gone viral for all the right reasons.
Steven Hildreth, Jr. is an African-American man who lives in Tucson, Arizona. He also happens to carry a concealed firearm wherever he goes (don’t worry he also has a permit) and he recently had a run-in with his local police because one of his vehicle’s headlights was out. After the confrontation, Hildreth, Jr. took to Facebook to tell his friends (and a lot of other people too) exactly what just took place and why he doesn’t buy into the rhetoric of the #BlackLivesMatter crowd.
His post has already been “liked” by more than 275,000 people and it’s been “Shared” by more than 170,000 Facebook users. Spread his story, share this article with all of your friends who think cops are violent and/or racist. We need more Steven Hildreth, Jr.’s out there are far fewer Al Sharpton’s and Barack Obama’s.
So, I’m driving to my office to turn in my weekly paperwork. A headlight is out. I see a Tucson Police Department squad vehicle turn around and follow me. I’m already preparing for the stop.
The lights go on and I pull over. The officer asks me how I’m doing, and then asks if I have any weapons.
The officer explains for his safety and mine, he needs to disarm me for the stop. I understand, and I unlock the vehicle. I explain that I’m running a 7TS ALS holster but from the angle, the second officer can’t unholster it. Lead officer asks me to step out, and I do so slowly. Officer relieves me of my Glock and compliments the X300U I’m running on it. He also sees my military ID and I tell him I’m with the National Guard.
Lead officer points out my registration card is out of date but he knows my registration is up to date. He goes back to run my license. I know he’s got me on at least two infractions. I’m thinking of how to pay them.
Officers return with my Glock in an evidence back, locked and cleared. “Because you were cool with us and didn’t give us grief, I’m just going to leave it at a verbal warning. Get that headlight fixed as soon as possible.”
I smile. “Thank you, sir.”
I’m a black man wearing a hoodie and strapped. According to certain social movements, I shouldn’t be alive right now because the police are allegedly out to kill minorities.
Maybe…just maybe…that notion is bunk.
Maybe if you treat police officers with respect, they will do the same to you.
Police officers are people, too. By far and large, most are good people and they’re not out to get you.
I’d like to thank those two officers and TPD in general for another professional contact.
We talk so much about the bad apples who shouldn’t be wearing a badge. I’d like to spread the word about an example of men who earned their badges and exemplify what that badge stands for.
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