Believe it or not, not all cops are racist, donut-eating thugs who want nothing more than to hassle innocent citizens. In fact, the vast majority are good people who put themselves in harm’s way to keep the rest of us safe.
The good ones, however, tend to get the least amount of ink. But NYPD Officer Larry DePrimo deserves a nod.
The photo above was snapped by a tourist from Arizona. It shows DePrimo giving boots and a pair of socks to a barefoot homeless man in Times Square on November 14.
The woman who took the photo, Jennifer Foster, says she was walking around Times Square when she saw the homeless man begging for change. She gives the following description of DePrimo’s generosity:
“Right when I was about to approach, one of your officers came up behind him. The officer said, ‘I
have these size 12 boots for you, they are all-weather. Let’s put them
on and take care of you.’ The officer squatted down on the ground and
proceeded to put socks and the new boots on this man. The officer
expected NOTHING in return and did not know I was watching*. I have been
in law enforcement for 17 years. I was never so impressed in my life. I
did not get the officer’s name. It is important, I think, for all of us
to remember the real reason we are in this line of work. The reminder
this officer gave to our profession in his presentation of human
kindness has not been lost on myself or any of the Arizona law
enforcement officials with whom this story has been shared.”Our thanks to the Fosters for their attention and appreciation, and especially to this officer, who remains anonymous.
According to DePrimo, the man told him he’d never had a pair of shoes before. So DePrimo went to a Skechers store on 42nd Street and dropped $75 on a pair of insulated winter boots and socks for the man.
“I didn’t think anything of it,” DePrimo tells Newsday.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 29, 2012