When Being a Good Human Trumps the Law
One thing that I really hate is when law enforcement enforces the law to the very letter. That’s not the purpose of the law.
One way that this is demonstrated in our everyday lives is when it comes to speeding. If you’re going 57 and the speed limit is 55, most people do not believe that you should get a speeding ticket for that. You were only going two miles per hour over the speed limit.
Nevertheless, there are some police out there who are big enough jerks that they’ll pull you over and possibly even give you a ticket.
However, there are still some good guys out there who understand that being a good person is more important that following the letter of the law and punishing people for nonsense.
Instead of arresting a woman for stealing food from a Dollar General, he did something amazing instead.
On Wednesday, Tarrant police delivered two truckloads of groceries to the woman, who on Saturday was caught stealing five eggs from the nearby Dollar General. Instead of arresting Helen Johnson, Tarrant Police Officer William Stacy bought her a carton of eggs and sent her home with the promise to never shoplift again.
What a difference a week makes. Johnson’s two daughters, a niece and two grandchildren, ages 1 and 3, live with her in their Tarrant home. The kids’ mother gets a welfare check – $120 a month – but that check was lost in the mail. Johnson herself gets a disability check, which is set to come this week.
By Saturday, the family had gone two days without food. Johnson went to Dollar General on Pinson Valley Parkway with $1.25 and thought that would be enough to buy a carton of eggs. When she realized she was 50 cents plus tax short, she stuffed five eggs in her pocket out of desperation.
The story went viral. On Tuesday, Tarrant police showed up at her home. “I was shook and so scared,” she said. “I thought it was about the eggs. My grandbaby said, ‘Are you going to jail?’ and I said I hoped not.”
Instead, Tarrant police took Johnson to headquarters, where they signed her up for the annual Tarrant Toy Drive, and also are helping to coordinate the offers of food and clothing also pouring in, said Tarrant police Sgt. Larry Rice.
On Wednesday, Stacy and Officer Jay Jenkins took two loads of food to Johnson’s apartment. She couldn’t stop crying, and she couldn’t stop hugging Stacy. “I just busted out and started hollering,” Johnson said of all the food delivered to her home. “I was yelling so loud. I would have been a good cheerleader.”
This is what it means to be a good human being. Police can sometimes let that level of power and authority that they have get to their heads and they make bad decisions, but this time, goodness won the day.