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Man Unnerved By Cop’s Odd Behavior In Patrol Car, Frantically Texts Wife

Photo Credit: A Plus

Photo Credit: A Plus

Note: we are republishing this story in light of recent reports across the country that suggest more and more Americans are having positive interactions with police officers despite changing attitudes about police departments and wider conversation about police reform.

A Missouri officer's kind act toward a little girl battling cancer has gone viral.

When Matthew Manley was pulled over while driving without the proper license plates, he immediately expected the worst, KTVI reported. He was traveling with his 5-year-old niece, Sydney, at the time.

Matthew was taking his niece home after she had received chemotherapy from a St. Louis area hospital. She had been receiving regular doses to help fight off her cancer.

“She’s been through a lot," he told KTVI.

But when Matthew was pulled over by a police officer, he immediately became nervous. He knew he had not transfered his license plates from his previous vehicle in a timely manner. His became more worrisome when the officer went to open the trunk of his police vehicle.

“I wasn’t sure what he was doing,” recalled Matthew, who then sent a text to his wife.

“He texted me scared to death,” said his wife, Dana Manley.

But it turns out Officer Shawn Birdsong had a surprise for the little girl.

Birdsong grabbed a backpack filled with goodies and gave it to her. The department carries the backpacks as part of a program known as Project Backpack St. Louis, which supplies students with school supplies.

Inside the backpack, the little girl found clothes, stuffed animals, and art supplies.

“Cops are doing their jobs, but they’re people too,” said Matthew. “I don’t think people realize that anymore.”

But Officer Birdsong didn't stop there. He included a handwritten note for the little girl that stated, “From Officer Shawn: Hope you get to feeling better real soon.” The heartfelt note ended with a smiley face.

Photo Credit: A Plus

Photo Credit: A Plus

“That meant the world,” said Dana. She shared the story on Facebook because she wanted the world to know what officer Birdsong had done for her niece. The officer has since called the Manley family to thank them for their kind words, and to check up on the little girl.

“It brought me to tears again,” said Dana. “He’s called and checked on her 3 to 4 times since then.”

The couple added that they were not upset about the ticket.

“Officer Shawn Birdsong was doing the job he was hired to do,” Dana told HuffPost. “Sydney has had a tough time with this cancer, and the chemo isn’t fun, but for Officer Shawn to give her a backpack full of goodies, just because, made her realize that people that don’t even know her care about her.”

“He showed us, again, that a police officer is just a regular person with a job to do,” Dana added. “He just put a little more effort into his job to make a little girl’s day a little brighter.”

Sources: KTVI, HuffPost

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