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Photo of NYPD officer giving pair of boots to homeless man now viral.

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NYPD officer Lawrence Deprimo
NYPD officer Lawrence Deprimo gives a homeless man boots.
NYPD officer Lawrence Deprimo
NYPD officer Lawrence Deprimo gives a homeless man boots. Photo via Jennifer Foster.

What? Homeless man shoeless again. Wants a piece of the pie.

Here’s something to cheer you up and to make you reconsider how indifferent or worse police officers are said to be towards homeless officers actually are.

On November 12, Jennifer Foster was visiting NYC from Arizona when she came across NYPD officer Lawrence Deprimo giving a pair of new boots to a barefoot homeless man. Apparently the ‘touching’ moment is said to have reminded her of the time, when as a young girl, she saw her father, also a policeman, buy food for a homeless man.

Telling the nyt’s: “He squatted down, just like this officer.”

Tells gawker: She took a photo of the exchange and described it to the NYPD in an email. A department official wrote back asking for the picture so it could be posted to Facebook. Late Tuesday night, the picture went online and instantly went viral, garnering over 1.6 million views, 275,000 likes and 16,000 comments.

Although he wasn’t identified in the online post, police officer Deprimo recalledthe following after the NYPD released his name:

The officer, normally assigned to the Sixth Precinct in the West Village, readily recalled the encounter. “It was freezing out and you could see the blisters on the man’s feet,” he said in an interview. “I had two pairs of socks and I was still cold.” They started talking; he found out the man’s shoe size: 12.

As the man walked slowly down Seventh Avenue on his heels, Officer Deprimo went into a Skechers shoe store at about 9:30 p.m. “We were just kind of shocked,” said Jose Cano, 28, a manager working at the store that night. “Most of us are New Yorkers and we just kind of pass by that kind of thing. Especially in this neighborhood.”

Mr. Cano volunteered to give the officer his employee discount to bring down the regular $100 price of the all-weather boots to a little more than $75. The officer has kept the receipt in his vest since then, he said, “to remind me that sometimes people have it worse.”

No record as of the name of the homeless man but one can pretty much assume he’s got to be feeling much better about life, even if sadly he’s probably still homeless…

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