What started as a potentially tragic situation turned into a miracle after a police officer went above and beyond the call of duty to help an Black teenager.
“He called and was very distraught and very upset,” Officer Gaetano, 24, said, recalling the moment 13-year-old Cameron entered his life. “He was threatening to run away and leave the house.”
Concerned, Gaetano drove out to meet the boy. When he arrived, he was perplexed to learn the teenager had called 911 not from his home but from a store phone.
“He was so upset,” Gaetano remembers.
Cameron proceeded to tell Gaetano his mother had just disciplined him for using his brother’s gaming system without permission—aa minor concern typical for a child.
But it wasn’t the small argument that ended up touching Gaetano, but what he learned afterwards.
When he returned the child home, he was shocked to see the state he lived in.
“He took me to his room, and it was four walls, two windows, and a hardwood floor,” Gaetano explained. “It was just empty.” He had his clothes on the ground in a black garbage bag. I asked him where he sleeps, and he said, “Sometimes on the couch, and sometimes on a blow-up mattress.”
It turned out his family had just moved to help take care of a sick family member. His mother, a deeply religious woman, was experiencing devastating financial hardship.
Gaetano knew he couldn’t just leave the child’s life without doing something.
So, without Cameron’s or his family’s knowledge, Gaetano got to work.
When he came around later, Cameron was shocked. Not only did he now have a bed and comforter to sleep in, he also had a desk, a chair, a TV, and a Wii game system.
“The kid was in tears,” said Gaetano, adding he bought furniture for Cameron’s brother too. “He was just in shock, so happy.” “He still is.”
As if that wasn’t enough, Gaetano spoke about the boy on social media, where the post went viral. Many around the world reached out, asking how they could contribute to the family.
Others praised Gaetano for his act of generosity.
“What a gift the policeman is; God bless him,” wrote one user.