Cop Stops Barefoot Homeless Woman On The Street, Buys Her Shoes

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TULSA (CBS) — On October 5th, as Deputy Brandon Hendrix was leaving police headquarters in downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma, he came across a barefoot homeless woman outside.

“We’re in downtown Tulsa and we’re not too far from the homeless shelter,” explains Casey Roebuck, Director of Public Information for the Tulsa Country Sheriff’s Office. “So, we get a lot of transient folks wandering around downtown, but normally they’re wearing shoes.”

This woman, however, was not. And that was simply too much for Deputy Hendrix to take. So, he sprung into action, approaching the woman to ask if he could remedy the situation.

“What was so funny about it was that, when he approached her, she was really afraid she was gonna get arrested,” Roebuck told CBS News.

Far from it. Deputy Hendrix grabbed a fellow law enforcement officer — as is protocol whenever a male deputy has a female in his car — and drove the barefoot woman to a local Walmart. There, he let her pick out a pair of shoes that matched her dress and, at checkout, he paid for them.

Roebuck says that as the other police officer stood there witnessing Deputy Hendrix’s random act of kindness, he was so moved by it that he felt compelled to snap a picture. The Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office then tweeted the photo out on its official Twitter account and it started going viral.

“Nobody goes into law enforcement to make a lot of money and resources are usually tight,” explains Roebuck. “So, we’re very proud that he did this for her.”

What’s more, the story is doing its part to mend badly bruised police-community relations in the area. The last time a Tulsa police officer made national news it wasOfficer Betty Shelby, who’s facing manslaughter charges for the fatal shooting of 40-year-old Terence Crutcher in September. The incident gave rise to nationwide protests.

“The headlines are full of bad encounters between law enforcement and citizens,” says Roebuck,” but this really shows people that law enforcement officers are human beings and that they really do go into the job because they want to help the community. They’re real people and their hearts are in the right place.”

Deputy Hendrix isn’t a fan of the limelight, and Roebuck points out that when the department initially tweeted out the photo above, he asked that his name not be included in the post.

“He was very reluctant to allow us to air his name,” she told CBS News. “He didn’t do this for recognition or publicity. He really just wanted to help.”

Now, she says, many members of the Tulsa community are calling the Sheriff’s Office to ask what happened to the homeless woman involved. All they know, however, is that she was originally from Arizona and just happened to be passing through the area when her path serendipitously crossed that of Deputy Hendrix.

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