Local News

Raleigh workers stop to thank, hug police officers

Posted July 18, 2016 6:05 p.m. EDT
Updated July 18, 2016 7:06 p.m. EDT

— Two utility workers on their lunch break Monday afternoon decided to spontaneously stop and thank some Raleigh police officers nearby.

WRAL cameras captured the moment, but the workers said they had no idea they were on TV. When they found out, they said they were humbled.

"It was basically just to thank them and let them know how much we appreciate them," said Quincy Brown, a utility worker. "We know that things are hard and stuff right now."

In the last two weeks, eight police officers have been shot and killed in Dallas and Baton Rouge.

"With the number of incidents that are occurring, it makes you think a little bit, but it doesn't deter us," said Capt. Craig Haines.

Some believe the police officer killings were in retaliation for the deaths of two black men in Baton Rouge and suburban Minneapolis.

"We wanted them to know that not everybody thinks the same, and we don't think that they are bad because we have had some bad elements in the system," Brown said.

Haines said he recognized the support in the Raleigh community and also saw the support when he traveled to Texas to attend the funeral of Dallas officer Patricio Zamarippa.

"Just to see the citizens standing in the sun, in the heat showing their support. It meant a lot," Haines said.

Haines said he was moved by the remarks from Dallas Police Chief David Brown.

"He reminded us that not only should we do this, but do it right. We should do it with love in our hearts," Haines said.

A love that can flow both ways.

"If it can just make them feel better and keep their spirits up. I'm going to do it all day long," Brown said.

Haines said that attending the funeral in Dallas made him more aware of his responsibility to protect and serve the Raleigh community with pride.