Steven Hildreth Jr. is amazed at the reaction to his Facebook post, KGUN-TV reports. He said Tucson police officers were extremely professional, even though he was pulled over in the middle of the night carrying a gun.
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"I'm black, I was wearing a hoodie, and I had a gun," he said. "And here I am."
At 3 a.m. Tuesday, Hildreth was driving on the east side of town.
"My front passenger side headlight was out, and I saw a Tucson police SUV turn around as I passed the intersection of 22nd and Kolb, and I know, 'OK, I'm going to get pulled over.' I knew it was coming," Hildreth said.
Officers even had to disarm him.
"They said, 'Hey, you were really cool with us. You didn't give us any grief about your firearm or anything like that, so we're just going to let you off with a warning.' And I was really appreciative of that, and I felt that they had really professional conduct during that stop," Hildreth said.
He felt the need to share the experience on Facebook. The post has been commented on, liked and shared by hundreds of thousands of people.
"It caught me off guard how much traction it caught, and I think that sends a message that, yeah, people want to know about the bad in the world, but they also want to hear of the good in the world. I think that the post's reaction is proof of that," HIldreth said.
He knows police aren't always praised on the Internet and on the street.
"There are those that abuse the power of the badge that shouldn't be law enforcement officers. We focus so much on them. We don't focus on the vast majority who are just doing their jobs, and they're regular good people," Hildreth said.
The Tucson Police Officers Association also shared Hildreth's post, thanking him for the compliment.