Feeding a hungry person.
I was a Brooklyn, NY uniform cop and investigator during the period of American history when Shawn JayZ Carter raps about selling poison to his neighbors and describes other anti-social activities he engaged in that caused peaceful people in his neighborhood to fear for their personal and family’s safety 24/7.
When I arrested a person, depending on the situation, after cuffing them, I almost always informed my prisoner, “My friend, act like a gentleman, and you’ll be treated like a gentleman (or lady).”
This promise/admonishment included purchasing a soda, chips, or other nourishment that was within reason. If my prisoner acted like a gentleman or lady, I had no problem making a trip to the fast food restaurant across from the Brooklyn booking facility on Tillary St. Sometimes they paid, sometimes I paid.
Not really a biggie to my wallet because I was usually on overtime when processing a prisoner.
There are many reason I purchased food for prisoners, one reason was to show them I am human too.
Though the most important reason was that I viewed each civilian I came in contact with, arrested or not, as a potential wealth of information I might be offered access to if I treated the person the way I expected to be treated by another person, with respect.
It did not matter if I chased him or her for a few blocks and ended up using physical force to defend myself while capturing my prisoner, it did not matter if they were an alleged rapist of children, or mass murderer.
It was not my job to punish or shame a prisoner, it was my job to gather intelligence info that could help solve criminal cases. Whether or not I detested the acts he or she was alleged to have committed, whether or not I liked the person I arrested, treating a person with respect is the first step toward gaining their trust and giving them a reason to open up about activities they have knowledge. They may not open up immediately, but sometime in the future if they need to talk to a cop, they know they can trust me to treat them fairly.
Plus, in police work sometimes cops finds comfort in the small things, like arresting a person who tried to harm me and expressed a hatred for me, yet a few hours later when I am lodging him in a cell prior to arraignment, he is now thanking me for being cool and treating him with respect.
Another thing that inspired me to feed my prisoner, was knowing many of the people I arrested were victims of horrific child abuse who often were not fed or shown respect by their parents or caregivers.
I often hated the harmful anti-social acts my teen and adult prisoners committed against their peaceful neighbors.
Though my anger was tempered by day after day of witnessing the child abuse and neglect many kids who mature into depressed adults had to deal with, I understood why their brains were corrupted and they lacked empathy and compassion for their peaceful neighbors.
Feeding a hungry belly, offering respect to a person who feels disrespected by everyone, including their caregivers, was my way of coping with the emotional trauma I experienced from witnessing much of the horrible human drama I regularly encountered. It kept me feeling human in a community plagued by inhumanity toward developing children.