Atlanta police officer describes viral act of kindness toward barefoot homeless man in emotional interview

Atlanta Police Officer S. Thomas was unaware she was being filmed when she gave shoes to homeless man

An Atlanta police officer who was unknowingly caught on camera giving a barefoot homeless man a pair of shoes described what led her to perform the act of kindness.

Atlanta police officer S. Thomas was working her beat a few months ago when she noticed a man walking barefoot in the rain, Atlanta police said Saturday in a post describing the circumstances of the good deed. 

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"I was working my beat and I saw a man with no shoes on, or they were badly damaged," Thomas said in an interview recorded by the department after her act of kindness went viral on social media. "So, I asked him if he would still be here when I came back."

Thomas left to get a pair of shoes and socks from a co-worker who lived nearby. But when she returned, the man was gone. She decided to leave the footwear in her trunk in the hopes she’d see the man again.

A day later, while working an extra job at a local Kroger grocery store, Thomas said she saw a different man who was barefoot outside the store. The officer went to her trunk and got the shoes and socks for the man.

"I’m a sneakerhead," Thomas said in the interview. "I love shoes, so sometimes I may put shoes in my trunk to give to people who may need them. It’s never a time I don’t think of others."

Thomas appears to get emotional and pauses for a moment.

"I haven’t always been able to give," she said. "So that now that I am able to, I just like to help."

Officer S. Thomas has been with the Atlanta Police Department for three years and serves Zone 5.

Officer S. Thomas has been with the Atlanta Police Department for three years and serves Zone 5. (Atlanta Police Department?)

Police said Thomas did not have her body-worn camera recording at the time of the good deed, as it is not required for general citizen encounters, and was not seeking publicity. In fact, she was completely unaware she was being filmed.

"I do stuff like this all the time," Thomas said. "And I never did this to be acknowledged. I didn’t expect this at all."

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Atlanta police said it was proud of Thomas, adding that she isn’t the only officer in the city who performs good deeds out of the kindness of their heart.

"Officers with APD routinely show care and consideration to the citizens of the City of Atlanta and perform random acts of kindness without seeking applause," the department said. "These interactions never make the news. These deeds are just part of any given day for our men and women in blue."

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