NEW YORK (WTVR) – A photo of a New York City police officer giving shoes to a homeless man in Times Square has gone viral. The photo and story have been shared 80,000+ times and liked 300,000+ times on the NYPD’s Facebook page.
“Jennifer Foster of Florence, AZ was visiting Times Square with her husband Nov. 14 when they saw a shoeless man asking for change,” the NYPD wrote on Facebook.
“Right when I was about to approach, one of your officers came up behind him. The officer said, I have these size 12 boots for you, they are all-weather. Let’s put them on and take care of you.’ The officer squatted down on the ground and proceeded to put socks and the new boots on this man,” Foster told the NYPD. “The officer expected NOTHING in return and did not know I was watching.”
“I have been in law enforcement for 17 years. I was never so impressed in my life. I did not get the officer’s name,” she continued. “It is important, I think, for all of us to remember the real reason we are in this line of work. The reminder this officer gave to our profession in his presentation of human kindness has not been lost on myself or any of the Arizona law enforcement officials with whom this story has been shared.”
The NYPD identified the officer as Larry DePrimo. The New York Times reported the 25-year-old police officer was shocked over the attention his action received.
“I had two pairs of wool winter socks and combat boots, and I was cold,” DePrimo told Newsday.
After buying the man socks and shoes, DePrimo said the homeless man smiled “from ear to ear.”