A police officer was sitting by himself eating lunch in his uniform when three teenage girls approached him with a note that left him “teary-eyed”.
Deputy Manuel Stone, who works in Lee County in the US state of Alabama, said the trio asked him to do them a favour and handed him a piece of paper, but requested he did not read it before they departed.
“The note says: ‘We have paid for your meal. Thank you for your service to our community.’ It made me feel really good. I still get a little teary-eyed,” Deputy Stone told US news outlet WRBL.
The deputy has kept the note in his patrol car since it was given to him on Tuesday (local time) and becomes emotional when he thinks about the kind gesture, explaining it meant even more to him as it was from a younger generation.
“I love serving people, I love protecting people, and I love the community I live in,” Deputy Stone shared.
With racial tension in the US at an all-time high and the Black Lives Matter movement gaining more momentum each day, the proud officer feels he can help bridge the gap in his community.
“I’m literally in the middle. I am white, I am black and I’m police. I am smack dab in the middle, so I am connected and have experiences on all three sides,” he explained.
Deputy Stone told WRBL he wanted to share the story to show there was positivity in the current climate.
“We hear about so much negative. I want to share the positives on all sides, we need more of that,” he said.
Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones told WRBL Deputy Stone was an excellent police officer who always put others’ service above himself.
“It means so much, more than anyone will ever know. It’s fascinating how a simple piece of paper can be transformed into what our police officers consider a priceless document when the words of a youngster are applied in support of us,” Sheriff Jones said.
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