After a high-speed chase, Kentucky police officers approached the driver’s vehicle with guns drawn. However, the subsequent interaction between a white officer and a black female suspect made waves on the internet.
Latrece Curry, 41, was shaken after a domestic dispute with her husband. Instead of waiting for the police to arrive, however, she made a snap decision to flee, with no clear idea of where she was going or what she was going to do.
Luckily, a deputy from the Hodgenville Police Department was on her heels before several of his colleagues followed as she engaged them on a chase spanning two counties. Already terrified, the police pursuit only seemed to exacerbate her state of mind and she was nearing meltdown, DailyMail reports.
So, when Chief James Richardson and several of his officers deployed a roadblock, cornered her in a parking lot, and had their guns drawn, the 41-year-old was sure something terrible was going to happen. But, the tense situation came to the most touching conclusion after Richardson calmed her down and comforted her with a hug.
In a statement, Richardson said this had never before happened to him after a chase: A great example of keeping your emotions in check at the end of a pursuit. Chief Richardson said, “the look on her face was of sheer terror. She was shaking and it was obvious she was scared. I talked to her to calm her down and then she hugged me. That has never happened to me after a pursuit.”
The pursuit reportedly began when Latrece Curry, of Lebanon, Ky., fled from units in a neighboring county just as an ice storm was coming to town Wednesday. Police used a “rolling roadblock tactic” to bring the pursuit to an end without injury, the department wrote on Facebook. TMZ reports Curry had been involved in an undisclosed domestic situation with her husband and hit the gas when police tried tracking her down.
Richardson described the look on Curry’s face as “sheer terror” when she was surrounded by officers with guns drawn, while squad sirens wailed.
Richardson has served with the police force for twenty-three years. Despite his experience, he never came across an incident like this. He urges other cops to use compassion and empathy while on the job – instead of resorting to violence.
“Compassion is a good thing to have, especially in policing. With everything going on in the world today, everybody makes mistakes,” he said. “(This was a) great example of keeping your emotions in check at the end of a pursuit.”
Curry was taken into custody without incident. Facebook users piled on praise for the peaceful conclusion to the harrowing incident.
“Teach your fellow officers please! This is how it’s done,” wrote Letitia Crawford. “Sometimes people just need a hug.”
Others praised Richardson not just for his compassion, but also for his cool.
“The difference between a man with 15 plus years with experience vs. a brand new gungho officer ready to whoop ass,” wrote Dom Howe. “This just made me tear up. This man has a heart of gold… thank god he was there.”
Hodgenville is a central Kentucky town consisting of about 2 square miles and has a population of just over 3,200 people. Abraham Lincoln was born in the area.
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