Maryland officer’s simple act of kindness captured in photo

Courtesy of Laurel Police Department

LAUREL, Maryland — A simple act of kindness for a mother caught shoplifting in a Maryland store has gone viral on Facebook.

According to a post by the Laurel Police Department, Officer Johns responded to a call at a local grocery store and learned a young woman was caught trying to steal two packs of diapers.

The woman was checking out with her infant son in her arms when she realized she couldn’t afford her groceries and the diapers.

“Officer Johns considered the situation and then made the decision to purchase the diapers out of his own pocket so that the young child would not suffer,” the department said.

They noted the woman was still given a citation for theft.

“Though it’s but a snapshot of some of the work your officers are doing daily, we still wanted to take a moment to thank Officer Johns for not just fairly enforcing the law, but also showing empathy to an innocent child put in a difficult situation.”

The post quickly went viral with more than 1,300 shares, 5,300 reactions and almost 400 comments.

There were even so many people interested in helping the young mother and giving back to the officer that the department published a second post asking everyone to visit the local advocacy and referral services provider if they wished to donate.