A Facebook post by an African-American national guardsman from Tucson, Arizona, describing a police traffic stop has gone viral.
On Oct. 27, Steven Hildreth, Jr. wrote about the positive outcome of his interaction with the police, and his account was shared by over 130,000 users, according to Fox 6 Now.
“So, I’m driving to my office to turn in my weekly paperwork. A headlight is out. I see a Tucson Police Department squad vehicle turn around and follow me. I’m already preparing for the stop,” Hildreth wrote in his post.
“The lights go on and I pull over. The officer asks me how I’m doing, and then asks if I have any weapons,” the post read.
“Yes, sir. I’m a concealed carry permit holder and my weapon is located on my right hip. My wallet is in my back-right pocket,” Hildreth reportedly responded.
The officer then allegedly told Hildreth that he would need to disarm him for his own safety.
“I explain that I’m running a 7TS ALS holster but from the angle, the second officer can’t unholster it. Lead officer asks me to step out, and I do so slowly. Officer relieves me of my Glock and compliments the X300U I’m running on it,” Hildreth wrote.
After the officer noticed his registration was out of date, Hildreth realized they had him on two infractions.
“Because you were cool with us and didn’t give us grief, I’m just going to leave it at a verbal warning. Get that headlight fixed as soon as possible,” the officer allegedly told Hildreth when he returned with his license after checking it.
“I smile. ‘Thank you, sir,'” Hildreth wrote.
Hildreth added that he believes his experience showed that the majority of police officers “are not out to get you.”
“I’m a black man wearing a hoodie and strapped," he posted. "According to certain social movements, I shouldn’t be alive right now because the police are allegedly out to kill minorities. Maybe ... just maybe ... that notion is bunk.”
Police in Tucson claimed not to have been aware of the viral post until contacted by the media.
“It’s just kind of surprising, because our officers do this every day,” Sgt. Pete Dugan told My News 4. “We had nothing to do with it going viral.”
“We appreciate that someone is coming forward with something positive, due to what we’ve seen nationally,” Dugan added.
Hildreth’s post came in the same week that a resource officer in South Carolina was filmed and fired for dragging a student across the floor in a school.