At the sight of the cop car, the playing children immediately knelt down and threw their hands up over their head as if they were under arrest.
Memphis Police Officer Rico Donald had seen this before.
And, as he had done before, Donald paused to educate the children and ease their fear, according to a Facebook post he wrote April 7.
“I stopped and explained to them that we (police) are here for them and to never fear us,” Donald wrote.
Then, he wrote, they talked sports and the children showed off various trophies they won. Donald added the impromptu meeting was the highlight of his day.
After his post gained momentum on social media, Donald told LocalMemphis.com: “Kids cry when the police officers come because they’re scared — it’s like we replaced the boogeyman. I need you to feel that if you need me, if no one else comes, I’m going to come. I want them to feel comfortable.”