This Photo of a Police Officer and a Homeless Man Is Going Viral for All the Right Reasons

Source: Darren Bigd Ballard Sr./Facebook

Finally some good news about police.

A photo uploaded to Facebook on Tuesday has gone viral for all the right reasons.

The image shows Mike Huffman, a Washington state sheriff's deputy, pulled over on the side of the road sharing a sandwich with a local homeless man. The photo has been shared by more than 26,000 people.

Ballard managed to snap the image while driving nearby. "I was just blown away," he told Seattle's KING-TV. "To sit there and get personal with him on a level, he's just being friendly. It's awesome."

To top it all off, Huffman isn't capitalizing on his newfound Internet love. A sheriff's representative told KING-TV he was not interested in publicity for his random act of kindness.

The photo stands in stark contrast to the grim litany of images and video that have made the rounds on the Internet in recent months. In a depressing sequence stretching from Michael Brown to Eric Garner to Tamir Rice to Walter Scott and more, police have been shown abusing their authority with fatal consequences. Huffman's old-fashioned decency is certainly more uplifting than the last time a local sheriff's deputy was in the news. 

Twitter too, officially gave its approval. 

Like a similar 2012 image of a New York City police officer buying shoes for a homeless man (who turned out to actually not be homeless) photos like these can remind all of us there is more than a little truth to the claims of police advocates who insist there are good officers out there. As more and more departments move to equip their forces with body cameras, there's a chance good news like this might even become more common. 

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Jon Levine

Jon Levine is a staff writer at Mic, covering politics and people. He is based in New York and can be reached at JLevine@mic.com.

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