A black man named Greg Barnes, Jr., was recently pulled over by a white police officer for speeding. The interaction between the men is going viral online, for all the right reasons.
“I was pulled over today for speeding. The officer did not know me nor did I know him, but we each showed one another a mutual display of respect in our interaction,” Barnes wrote on his Facebook page on September 18th. “He was doing his job, and I had made a mistake in trying to hurry home to get started moving that led to our paths crossing.”
Barnes said he and the officer took time to talk about each other’s day. They even had an open and honest discussion about “situations and circumstances within our society that have lead [sic] to interactions such as he and I’s [sic] to play out much more negatively, some even deadly, than ours,” Barnes added.
But perhaps it was the last paragraph of Barnes’ powerful post that has everybody buzzing about his recent police encounter: “We can continue to fight against each other until we are literally ‘black and blue,’” he said, “or we can show one another the respect we inherently deserve, not as ‘black man’ and ‘blue police officer,’ but as humans. None greater, none less.”
Before parting ways, Barnes pulled out his cell phone and took a selfie with the officer. He posted the picture on Facebook with the hashtag #Respect.
A few days later, the post had nearly a half-million shares. One person wrote on Barnes’ Facebook page, “Amen Greg – thanks for sharing this important dialogue – You’re a good role model for the young people today – Proud of you!”