Silent Encounter Sparks Movement
Sometimes silence speaks when words can’t. One quiet message shared between a police officer and woman is inspiring a movement in Hancock County.
News 25’s Gina Tomlinson caught up with the woman who started it all and shares the details.
Minutes after hearing that three more officers were killed in Baton Rouge through her car stereo, Samantha McRaney says the sight of a lone female police officer made her come to a complete stop in the middle of the road. “I just looked at her and I could see the pain in her eyes.”
So Samantha simply looked in silence, making the sign of the cross at the woman in blue. “Then she looked at me and went in a symbol that I took as three officers had just been down.”
With strong ties to New Orleans, Samantha is no stranger to crime, but this silent encounter with the cop in Bay St. Louis hit close to home and she decided to take action. “Then I thought about getting $10 gift cards at Shell, at our local stores, at anything.”
She hands these gift cards out to law enforcement workers throughout Hancock County. Her simple acts of kindness have gone viral, washing across the bay. Waveland Police Chief David Allen said, “Things are a little worse than usual right now. But especially when you hear the public standing behind us, it reminds us that people don’t hate police officers.”
Samantha says she’s encouraged family, friends and others from out of state to take action, a movement that’s quickly growing. “Everyone of us can do something. Drive to that police department, give them a silent salute and then a gift card.”
“Pushing that kind of respect towards us, it really is enlightening,” said Chief Allen.
This is an encounter proving sometimes, silence really does speak louder than words.