Anti-police sentiments have been at an all-time high in this country over the past few weeks ever since the death of George Floyd last month, which means officers all over America are getting less respect than ever.
That’s why one Alabama deputy sheriff could not have been more touched last week when three teenagers surprised him with an act of kindness that he says he will never forget.
Lee County Deputy Manuel Stone was eating lunch alone recently while wearing his uniform when three youngsters approached him and handed him a note, telling him not to open it until they had walked away. The officer did not know what to think at first, but when he finally did open the note, he couldn’t believe what it said.
“So they left, and I opened it. The note says: ‘We have paid for your meal. Thank you for your service to our community.’ It made me feel really good. I still get a little teary-eyed,” Stone recounted to WRBL.
Since that day, Stone has kept the note in his patrol car as a reminder that members of the community do still support him. Other officers in his department have gotten a huge boost from this act of kindness as well. “It means so much; more than anyone will ever know,” said Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones. “It’s fascinating how a simple piece of paper can be transformed into what our peace officers consider a priceless document, when the words of a youngster are applied in support of us.”
Stone added that as a father of three, the fact that the note was written by three teenagers made it even more impactful for him. With racial tensions at an all-time high in America as well right now, the note could not have come at a better time for the deputy. “I’m literally in the middle. I am white, I am black, and I’m police. I am smack dab in the middle…I am connected and have experiences on all three sides,” Stone explained. “We hear about so much negative. I want to share the positives on all sides. We need more of that,” adding, “I love serving people, I love protecting people, and I love the community I live in.”
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