A photo that was shared on social media in 2015 still continues to inspire people to this day. The photo featured the vice president of STAR Financial Bank Gregory Barnes Jr., who took a selfie with Indiana State Trooper Shawn Cosgrove.
The photo was taken on September 18, 2015, the year when mainstream media constantly publicized the tragic events where African-American men were being shot by white police officers.
"I was pulled over today for speeding. The officer did not know me nor did I know him, but we each showed one another a mutual display of respect in our interaction. He was doing his job, and I had made a mistake in trying to hurry home to get started moving and that led to our path's crossing," Barnes wrote on his social media post.
Barnes also shared that during their interaction, they talked about a number of things with regards to American society.
"We talked more about how our individual days were going, and the situations and circumstances within our society that have led to interactions such as his and I's to play out much more negatively, some even deadly, than ours, then we talked about the situation that led to him pulling me over. In the end, we both thanked each other for our mutual displays of respect and agreed to take a "selfie" together to help tell our story," he added in his post.
Barnes ended his post by sending a powerful message to everyone saying, "I can’t stress enough that NO demographic and/or profession of people are all bad. Neither of us is the enemy. We can continue to fight against each other until we are literally “black and blue,” or we can show one another the respect we inherently deserve, not as “black man” and “blue police officer,” but as humans. None greater, none less #Respect.”
In an interview with The Star Press, Barnes shared that he did not expect the overwhelming response that his post received, “It’s actually kind of sad that a cordial interaction between an officer and myself has generated this much interest.”
“Together, we, the only race that matters, the human race, can all make this world a better place than we found it,” he stated on another Facebook post.