*Every time I see a picture of a white police officer with a black teen, lately, it seems one has a gun pulled on the other — or one’s on the ground dying.
As BeBe & CeCe Winans famously sang back in the day, “Love Said Not So!”
During his routine night patrol, Officer Kirk Keffer spotted Jordan Duncan walking down quiet street in northern California.
“The street that I caught him on is really dark, and there’s no sidewalk. And he was dressed in all black,” said Keffer, who stopped his car to question Duncan, 18.
I know. You can almost see the kid’s black hoodie, can’t you? You think you could write the end of this story, don’t you? But keep reading. Trust me.
Duncan explained that he’d just gotten off from his graveyard shift packing boxes at a nutritional supplement company, and he was just making his way home. Typically, the seven mile commute would be easy, but it had recently become a two hour slog by foot.
“My car broke down,” Duncan explained, “so I figured I had no other way to work. I didn’t want to burden others by asking for a ride.”
Officer Keffer was astounded by the story, and Duncan’s pending uphill walk home.
“So I said, ‘If you don’t mind, hold on a second.’ I went over to my front seat, cleared it out, and asked him if I could give him a ride home. He’s like, ‘You can do that?’ I said, ‘Yeah, I can do that.'”
Warms your heart, doesn’t it, especially in our current political and social climate? A white cop asking a black kid if he can help him.
And it gets better…
During the ride home, Keffer learned that Duncan had just graduated from high school and had ambitions of becoming a police officer. Before Keffer dropped Duncan off, they exchanged phone numbers. The next day, Keffer told Duncan’s story to his supervisor and insisted that they do something to help the young man.
After a unanimous vote from the police association to allocate funds, Keffer bought a $500 mountain bike that Duncan “needed to attack the hills.” Two days later, Keffer surprised Duncan with the new bike as he got off of work.
Duncan was speechless.
“I was just thinking, ‘Is this really for me?” the teenager said.
Keffer has since taken Duncan under his wing, taking the teenager on police ride-alongs and starting a GoFundMe page to help fund Duncan’s pending college education. Currently, it’s about $15,000 short of its $50,000 goal. There’s no doubt in my mind that they’ll reach that goal, and that Duncan will start a very successful career in law enforcement.
“Most people use distance and not having a car as an excuse not to find a job. This kid — it wasn’t an obstacle. He just wanted to get to work,” Keffer said.
And on THAT note: Happy Thanksgiving!