It’s no surprise that tensions between American civilians and the police department are more strained than they’ve ever been at the moment. With social media exposing acts of police brutality instantaneously, more videos of unlawful civilian killings constantly surfacing and the Black Lives Matter movement rapidly gaining momentum and support, these are trying times.
Understandably, a huge amount of American citizens of all ethnicities and backgrounds across the country are angry, disillusioned and distrustful of police officers and departments. This is what created a surprising series of events, when Officer Chuck Thomas of the Homestead Police Department in Pennsylvania encountered a couple at their local diner.
Jesse Meyers, a server at Eat n’ Park was about to seat a couple for their lunch, but they asked to be moved further away when they noticed a table close by with four police officers eating. This is an event that’s occurring more and more frequently across the states, with people refusing to simply accept the fact that police officers are unlawfully killing people of colour and rarely facing any consequences. Well, what happened on this particular occasion between police and civilians was a little bit more inspiring and optimistic.
Officer Thomas posted this photo on his Facebook page following an encounter with a couple who didn’t want to sit near him and fellow officers.
Waiter Jesse Meyers dealt with an awkward situation told reporters that he was about to sit the couple down at their table when the man said, “no, I don’t want to sit here.”
Before the waiter was about to move the couple to the other side of the restaurant, police officer Thomas attempted to re-assure the couple that they wouldn’t cause them any problems.
“I looked over at him and said, ‘You don’t have to worry about it. We won’t hurt you,'” says Thomas about the not so unusual encounter. The man still declined and the couple ate their meal on the opposite side of the diner.
When Thomas explained that he wanted to leave a note for the couple, another officer suggested he pay for the couple’s meal. “What it really came down to was that, ultimately, I just wanted to let them know that we’ve got to better the relationship between police and the community,” Thomas explained.
He took the advice and decided to pay for the couple’s meal, even leaving a $10 tip as well. He went on to say that “this us-against-them mentality that’s out here, we’ve got to change that. We’ve got to break that.”