Police officer buys homeless man a pair of shoes


Submitted: Fri, 11/30/2012 - 4:58am
Updated: Fri, 11/30/2012 - 5:42pm

NEW YORK, NY — One tourist’s photograph, among the countless snapped every day in the Big Apple, has gone viral. The moment captured is one of generosity, and since it was posted on Tuesday, it has circled the globe and brought a lot of attention to one young New York City cop.

Had it not been for a tourist from Arizona who snapped the photo with her cell phone, Officer Lawrence DePrimo’s act of kindness, giving boots to a homeless man, may have gone unnoticed. Tourist Jennifer Foster emailed the photo to the NYPD and they posted it to their Facebook page. Tens of thousands of comments followed.

DePrimo says he had no idea it was going to be such a big deal. The 25-year-old officer was on patrol in Times Square on a cold night two weeks ago when he saw the homeless man with bare feet. He says, “You could see the blisters were about the size of my hands. My heart just went out to this man. I didn’t think anything of it. I just went towards him, asked him if he wanted a pair of socks. He said no, but thanks and God bless you for asking. And that I found amazing. Here he didn’t even have a pair of socks to his name and he had the heart to say God bless me. It was absolutely, it was just inspiring.”

Officer DePrimo went to a Sketchers store to get the man boots and had to run back out to ask the man for his size, he was a 12. Manager Jose Cano offered his employee discount to the officer. Cano says, “We realized, you know, this is a cop on the beat, you know. He’s just passing by. And it just, it came naturally for us to try and want to help, make the best out of the situation.”

DePrimo never found out the name of the man he helped, but he remembers his reaction. “He looked me right in the face and the smile just went from ear to ear. And again he said God bless me and he said, you know, be safe. And I just couldn’t believe what was coming out of his mouth. You know, for such a small gesture, you know, he was so appreciative.”

The officer says he keeps the receipt in his bulletproof vest as a reminder of those less fortunate. “If it pushes somebody else to go out and do another kind act towards another person, then I’m going to sleep well tonight. It’s absolutely amazing to me.”


  • JOHN says:

    Oh MY GOD… With all of the Arrogant goose stepping NEO CON cops all over the USA…
    This Is a man with the true meaning of SERVE AND PROTECT…
    All of the rest of you no count pigs should take NOTES from the young man “Police Officer” what a class act you are sir…

  • Guestdog says:

    Such a small act turned into a BIG act of kindness to the gentlman who was down on his luck. Kudos to the officer who just was being a human being and wanting to do something for someone else.
    We need more of that in this day and age

  • love says:

    We need more people like this officer in the world :o) That homeless man might have be an Angel in Disguise.

  • nyhunter says:

    I don’t mean to be a Grinch but I work for a homeless shelter and do you know why most men are homeless? They are convicted felons. Do you know why some men are not allowed in shelters? They are registered sex offenders. Before anyone gets all warm and fuzzy about Thanksgiving and Christmas good deeds to the homeless, it is because of the lack of grace and mercy of socity in the first place these men are in this situation. Yay for this good deed; boo to society for not being forgiving. Give these men jobs and all will be better.

  • Undisclosed. says:

    This man is not a cop. This man is something else. He is… a JOE.



  • Blessed says:

    And maybe these men have never been shown the grace or love of God! Maybe they were raised to only know the life of a felon. Kudos to this officer and I only hope others can be inspired to follow his kind acts!

  • donkey says:

    shutup, quit hating.

  • Guest 10101 says:

    So you’re saying he’s OK but most of his fellow cops, people he chooses to work with, are “no count”? I suspect the hero of this story might not be all that thrilled with the left-handedness of your compliment.

    Even though there are plenty of cops throughout the USA who are considerably less than perfect (just like others in the rest of our society), the vast majority of those who serve and protect are good people (just like others in the rest of our society).

    To use a phrase like “All of the rest of you no count pigs” is not a class act on your part, sir …

  • Vickie Cotten says:

    I was very touched by the grace that this cop showed to this man. It is so wonderful to see that we still have some who do have a heart for others. Whether he was in this position for whatever reason, the Lord led this cop to him. Thank you for your Service. You will be rewarded one day.

  • Kolander says:

    I like stories like this. The police are generally kind, hardworking men and women that care about their community and their city. I have often seen police officers go out of their way to do something for someone less fortunate, and they often risk their lives to save those who put themselves in harm’s way. This is great. I think this should get NWA to shut up.

  • maharshidas108 says:

    This officer should quit the force while he still has human kindness in his heart. Cops in general are scum bags and his fellow officers will beat the humanity right out of him. At twenty five he can do a lot better than being part of a corrupt and evil legal system. N.

  • SomePplScareMe says:

    This comment clearly comes from a very ignorant person. To say that ALL cops are “scum bags” is just ridiculous. There are “scum bags” of all types, such as Doctors, Lawyers, Priests, etc. To label ALL police officers as scum bags, is just not true. Let’s hope when you need help some day, the officer isn’t a “scumbag”!

  • Challengetheworld says:

    Remember that when you dial 911. And don’t come at me with “I don’t dial 911 either…” thats over used. The humanity has been beat right out of you probably because you deserved it.

    Respect to NYPD.

  • ChefnSurf says:

    In the fairy tale “Rumpelstiltskin”, a gnome-like character spins common straw into gold. You’ve taken a news piece of the finest gold and un-spun it back into common straw.


  • aurum79 says:

    This story made me smile and cry. Cops always seem to me like tough people with a tough job. Officer DePrimo is a fine human being with a gentle concern for his fellow man.

    Remember that a majority of the homeless are mentally ill and need our help. I am happy to have my tax money take care of these people. We need more good crimefighting men on the streets – neglect is a crime.

  • jg says:

    Happy Holidays! You’re a fine example of a great young man. Your selfless act made the world that much better… I’ll try to open my eyes next time I’m on the street and bring a smile to another ones face as well. God Bless You!

  • Simone Roche says:

    I’m surprised that no one has posted a comment yet. This police officer is just unbelievable! I glad that tourist took this picture. Just a great gesture on his part…and so humble. We need lots of people like him in this world! Kudos to his parents for raising such a fine young man!

  • Proud Denver mom-in-law says:

    My son-in-law is a police officer and people might be surprised to know that there are policemen and women here in Denver do large and small acts of kindness every day.
    From picking up a homeless alcoholic wandering across a busy street and taking him to safety.
    Attending a funeral for a young addict who has no family and no one to grieve.
    Taking a gift card (paid for out of his own pocket) to a young couple he has seen living week to week with their infant in a motel, so they can get a hot meal.
    Getting a bicycle from the police dump, fixing it up and giving it to a child in the projects.
    My son-in-law has done all the above and more and never asks for or gets recognition for it. He puts his life on the line every day for citizens but is quiet about his acts of humanity.
    We should thank our officers, just like we thank our service men and women, whenever we get the opportunity.

  • M. Douglas says:

    For all the grief that the police get for doing a bad job and people say in a derogatory manner New York’s at their best. This truly is New York’s at there best. God bless the officer who took the time to Protect and Serve his fellow man.

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