ATLANTA - An Atlanta police officer is being recognized for her act of kindness to a homeless man that was caught on camera.
Officer Thomas was working a shift a few months ago in Atlanta's Zone 5 when she noticed a man walking barefoot in the rain.
Thomas went off to buy some footwear for the man, but by the time she returned, he had left to go somewhere else. Still, the encounter stuck with the officer, and she kept the shoes in the trunk of her car just in case.
Soon after, while she was working an extra job at an Atlanta Kroger, Thomas saw a man outside the store who was barefoot. She was able to go and get the shoes from her car and give them to the unsuspecting man.
"Officer Thomas did not have her BWC recording at the time (as it is not required for general citizen encounters) and was not looking for publicity on this day. She was not aware that she was being filmed during her act of kindness. She simply saw a person with a need that she could fill and did so," the Atlanta Police Department wrote on Facebook.
The video was posted on social media on the page ATL Uncensored, where it has been watched by thousands of people.
"Officers with APD routinely show care and consideration to the citizens of the City of Atlanta and perform random acts of kindness without seeking applause," the APD said. "These interactions never make the news. These deeds are just part of any given day for our men and women in blue."
Thomas became emotional when she explained her motivation for helping the man.
"I'm a sneakerhead, I love sneakers," she said. "From time-to-time I just put shoes in my truck to give to people I see that may need them. There's never a time I don't think about others due to the fact that I haven't always been able to give."
"Now that I'm able to, I just like to help," she said.
She learned someone recorded her in April when she found it on social media.
She had almost forgotten the video when it resurfaced and had gone viral. She started receiving texts and messages on social media.
Thomas said she never expects acknowledgment for her acts of kindness while she's working.
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