DETROIT – When a Detroit police officer saw that 4-year-old four year old Mason Evans was crying and scared of him, he took the time to talk to the little boy to comfort him.
Police were responding to a call last Wednesday on Detroit’s west side and turned a child’s reaction into a memory they’ll never forget.
“I heard a kid crying saying, ‘I don’t want to get shot, I don’t want to die,‘” said Mason’s grandmother, Gina Kelly.
An officer asked Kelly if he could talk to Mason and, when given the go-ahead, he told Mason police are there to help others when they’re in trouble.
It was an exchange Kelly didn’t expect to happen. She said the interaction was delightful.
The police officers took it a step further by buying the children snacks and drinks.
“He gave me some Doritos and apple juice,” Mason said.
Mason’s family said it speaks to the culture of the Detroit Police Department.
“I can’t shield my son (from) this. I have to explain ‘good cop, bad cop,‘” said Micah Evans. “Detroit police (are) totally different -- honestly, in other neighborhoods (and) suburbs, they’re not like this.”
Mason’s feelings toward police officers changed in that moment -- he said he would be happy to see the officers again.
The family wants to thank the officers at Detroit Police Department’s Second Precinct for alleviating Mason’s fears.
Experts said it’s a good idea to have age-appropriate discussion with children about police, racism and current events to help with anxiety and uncertainty.