Officer Matthew Gerald: The picture of a hero

Officer Matthew Gerald: The picture of a hero

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - It's been said that the true test of a man's character is what he does when nobody's watching.

That test came when one of the Baton Rouge Police officers killed in Sunday's attack, Matthew Gerald, had a brief encounter with a woman who was having a really bad day.

Diane Spears' truck had stopped in the middle of traffic. Stranded and blocking traffic, Diane called police to get help.

Officer Gerald was off-duty and on his way home when he spotted Diane's truck in the busy roadway. She says Officer Gerald stopped and immediately jumped in to help and pushed her truck to a parking lot.

About that time, Diane's husband arrived.

Diane says the officer reached out his hand to her husband.

"He shook his hand and he said if y'all need anything, we're here. I told him thank you and we are here for you as well. I said we're not out to kill cops, we are actually out to help, I said we just want equality for everyone," Diane remembers. I said, everyone just needs more love and he said you're right."

Diane posted a selfie with Officer Gerald on her Facebook page. What makes the post even more remarkable, Diane took and posted these pictures two days after Alton Sterling was killed during a struggle with police.

At that point tensions were already high and people were starting to take sides. Diane says none of that mattered when she needed help.

"To wake up this morning and see a face that just helped me, gone. Life is too short," she said.

"I didn't know him well, but from what I did know from the brief moment, I know he was a good person," she said. "All cops aren't bad. We are all bad in some ways, but all of us are not bad. Dig deep inside yourself and find out what's important. Life is too short and this one was cut short way too soon."

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