With the focus often on the police officers who are doing the wrong thing, it's easy to miss the stories about the thousands of officers who are doing the right thing.
One officer doing the right thing — albeit in an unconventional manner — is Arlington, Texas, police officer Eric Ball.
On Monday night, Ball was alerted to a teenager seen smoking marijuana outside the movie theater where he moonlights as a security guard, so he went to check things out. As the teen watched the adult approach, he realized that Ball was a cop and dropped something on the ground.
Fox News reported:
“I asked him to come here,” Ball said. “When he noticed I was an officer, he came walking toward me. But he dropped something in his hand.”
Officer Ball says the teen was facing a misdemeanor citation and fines for having drug paraphernalia.
“You out here in front of the door smoking weed. What are you thinking? That was dumb,” Ball said. “So you're going to go to jail for something dumb today.”
But then, Ball says he had a change of heart. He remembered his own mentor, a police officer from when he was in high school — and second chances that he had been given — and he offered the teen a deal:
“The officer who was my mentor, he looked out for me,” Ball said. “So I just wanted to do it as a learning tool.”
“I'm like, ‘Yeah, you can do 200 push-ups or go to jail.’”
Another mother captured a video of the exchange on her phone:
Her caption reads:
Big UP's to the Arlington Police Officer that made the young black guy that decided to smoke weed on the movie theater parking lot to do push-ups [rather] then take him to jail or shoot him just Cuz. We need more cops like this. #Policeeverywhereneedtotakenotes #ArlingtonPoliceDept
As the video plays, you can hear the woman talking to the officer:
"We think the cops is so bad. They're not all bad...
He could have been one of these young black guys who are out here getting shot at and killed. He's still got a chance to change his life around and get a job and go to college."
Ball agreed, telling Fox News:
“It's easy to arrest folks. But it's harder to change someone.”
And America thought it was just the kind of “cop story” we need to see more of:
According to Fox News, the boy's mother took issue with just one thing: “Officer Ball says the young man's mom was also on board when she found her son was doing push-ups in the parking lot. He says she thought he went too easy on her son, suggesting 1,000 push-ups instead of just 200.”