Why this cop opted to buy clothes for a man instead of issuing him citation for public indecent exposure

Francis Akhalbey November 09, 2022
Officer J. Nguyen is being praised for his act of kindness -- Image via Atlanta Police Department

Officer J. Nguyen could have issued a citation to a man after he was reported for public indecent exposure. But the Atlanta police officer decided to help the man out by going to a Walmart store and buying him clothes that fit.

In the wake of his act of kindness, the Atlanta Police Department took to social media to commend him, FOX 5 Atlanta reported. In a Facebook post, the Atlanta Police Department said that on October 31, officers Nguyen and Prophete responded to a location in northwest Atlanta after they received a public indecency call. 

Upon arrival, the officers noticed the man who had been reported was wearing clothes that were too small – thereby exposing his body parts. The officers also got to know the man could not change what he was wearing because he did not have any alternative clothing.

The man could have received a citation for the alleged public indecent exposure. But Nguyen rather decided to head over to the Walmart store and buy clothes for the man. 

“Recognizing that the issue could be better addressed with empathy rather than police action, Officer Nguyen made an in the moment decision to purchase clothes and shoes for the male,” the Atlanta Police Department shared. “Once the mild mannered and grateful man was fully dressed in his new shirt, pants, and shoes, he was on his way, and the officers drove off to wait for the next call.”

Nguyen’s trip to the Walmart store was captured in bodycam footage. In the footage, Nguyen is heard telling the Walmart cashier that the clothes are not for him. “I found a gentleman out there who needs some clothes, so I’m doing the best I can,” he’s heard telling the cashier.

The Atlanta Police Department said that Nguyen’s kind gesture “demonstrated not only his professional training, but innate compassion and concern for a fellow human being.”

“Newly sworn, Ofc. Prophete, had a different kind of training day, witnessing what it means to be an APD officer in real time,” the department also said in the post. “We could not be prouder of Ofc. Nguyen.”

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