BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Two officers with the Baton Rouge Police Department are responding after a family recorded them in the middle of a random act of kindness Saturday, January 13.
Corporal James Rowe and Corporal Hue Pham were filmed buying a meal for a middle-aged woman at the intersection of Airline Highway and Tom Drive.
Kevin Brown, 20, was stunned by the video his sister captured. He told WAFB's Scottie Hunter it has changed his view of police in general and he wants others to see the random act of kindness.
The video, shared online, has racked up nearly 30,000 views and tons of reactions. The officers behind the video say it's something they never expected when they responded to the call of a woman down around 5 p.m. Saturday. "They called and said a woman was down by a bus stop, so they didn't know if she was responsive or not," said Rowe.
"She didn't have any shoes on, socks were wet, wrapped in a blanket," added Pham. "You could kind of say she was an older lady."
The officers wasted no time buying her a hot meal, but took things a step further when they used their own money to get her some dry clothes, fresh socks,and even put her up in a hotel for three nights.
WAFB's Scottie Hunter asked the officers what made them want to do it. "I mean, we are just in a situation where we're blessed and able to help other people," said Rowe.
Pham said a few days out of the cold could make all the difference for someone. "Put yourself in that situation," said Pham. "If it's my family, my friend, or me in that situation, I'd like somebody to help me."
With nearly 20 years on the force between them, the duo say it's not their first time helping out someone in need. Just over two years ago, they were among three officers recognized for buying clothes for a baby left in the cold while its mother was arrested. "That's just how we are," said Rowe. "I mean we love to help people."
Helping others is something they say is second nature, but the only difference this time is that a camera was rolling. "We had no idea that anybody was recording us, but to be able to see the impact on other peoples' lives, that's awesome," said Rowe.
At a time when relations between police and the public have been tested in Baton Rouge and beyond, the officers say they will just keep doing what they do. They say that changing attitudes along the way is just a bonus.
"To do the right thing, to help people, and you know, bring the community together," Pham added.
Both officers say they hope their actions will encourage other officers and members of the public to do good deeds as well.