The Basketball Cop and His Backup
Florida – When Gainesville PD Officer Bobby White was dispatched to a noise complaint about some kids playing basketball – loudly – in the street, he did something that created a viral video from his dash cam. And no, it wasn’t about shooting somebody. It was about excellent police work, and allowing kids to be kids.
The video spawned the hashtag #HoopsNotCrime. When Officer White got to the scene, he started playing basketball with the kids. After a couple of minutes, he said goodbye and told them he would bring “backup” next time and shoot some hoops with them.
The video had 1 million views in the first 6 hours.
When this Florida officer responded to a complaint about “noisy” children in a street, he took a hands-on approach. https://t.co/COOgbwWCl2
— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) January 22, 2016
— Gainesville Police (@GainesvillePD) January 22, 2016
But he had no idea who that “backup” would be.
On January 23, as White sat in the briefing at the station for a meeting about the “backup” possibilities, the door opened and in walked Shaquille O’Neal. Over 7 feet of basketball power. Now THAT’S “backup.”
He, Shaq and several cops drove to the neighborhood where the kids played. The excitement on their faces as Shaq got out of the vehicle was enough to make you leak tears.
They all shot hoops together, and when it was over, their hearts were filled with memories of the special day…and a view of police that is often missing. The actions of one police officer may have changed the lives – in a good way – of a neighborhood full of kids.
Law Enforcement that changes hearts
Gainesville PD has been hailed across Social Media for the actions of Officer White. He has appeared on the Today Show, Good Morning America, Fox and Friends, and others in the lineup.
These kids were doing nothing wrong, and their attitude was calm when first approached. The officer’s demeanor was calm as well. Not all situations turn out this well simply because of attitude on either side.
As soon as he picked up the basketball and shot it, the game was on. Kudos to him and to the Gainesville Police for getting the word of this awesome incident out for all to see. All police are not robocop, and not all black kids are criminals. Refreshing, to say the least.