A Buffalo Police officer reacted perfectly to a group of black kids playing a game of street football.
Officer Patrick McDonald was responding to a noise complaint about a group of children being too loud in the street. Upon pulling up to the kids in his police cruiser, he got out, walked over to them, and asked “Where are we lining up?” Raw Story reports.
After that, he joined in on the fun. Videos of the game have since gone viral, with McDonald being praised for allowing the kids to have fun as opposed to punishing them, threatening them, or — as we see all too often — shooting them.
He even joked with the group after making an impressive catch: “Do you guys want me to file a police report, because you just got robbed!” he said before driving away.
Even Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown caught wind of the videos and gave kudos to McDonald on Facebook, calling his actions “community policing at its best.”
“I applaud Officer Patrick McDonald for turning a nuisance call into a positive experience for the community,” Brown wrote. “I am proud that he is on the force & thank him for setting an example of why we truly are The City of Good Neighbors.”
McDonald told WGRZ-TV that he didn’t do any of this for recognition, but rather to have a positive bonding moment with the citizens he serves and protects.
"It helps break down the barrier, this 'us versus them' barrier," McDonald reportedly said. "And, at the same time, it shows that police officers empathize with the general public, and that we have a lot of common interests, like playing football."
It also helps that the kids weren’t doing anything to deserve the cops being called on them in the first place.
In addition to becoming a viral sensation, McDonald was reportedly presented with the Citizen of the Month award for his conduct.
This positive police encounter couldn't have come at a better time considering officers have recently been making headlines for taking lives and abusing their power, as opposed to bridging the gap between law enforcement and the community.
Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Ron Almog