A video showing two NYPD officers performing a small act of charity has gone viral.
Christina Vieux, 28, of Rosedale, Queens, said she had spent more than an hour digging her Honda Civic out Tuesday after the storm, when she spotted police from the 105th Precinct drive by.
Vieux “jokingly” yelled out to them, asking if they would give her a hand, she said. To her surprise, the two officers stopped across from her car parked on 233rd Street and asked if she had any shovels.
“I was shocked, to be honest. I had never met police who did this,” Vieux said.
She found two shovels for Officers Stephen McNamara and Michael Polly, and they spent about 10 minutes helping Vieux and her mother, Mirlene, clear the snow before driving off.
Vieux recorded the good deed on Facebook Live. It’s since been viewed 420,000 times and has been shared nearly 6,000 times.
McNamara said he and Polly saw Vieux wave them down and ask for help Tuesday afternoon.
“Without hesitation, we both got out of the car and started shoveling,” said McNamara, 27, of Levittown. “I think she was kind of in shock that we actually stopped. But she was asking for help and it’s part of our job to help the community.”
Polly, 25, of Massapequa Park, said Vieux and her mother were “very appreciative” and even called the precinct to commend them.
“It’s a good thing, displaying the uniform in a positive light, finally,” McNamara said.
The video generated other positive responses online.
“There are some real human being[s] under these uniforms too. That’s why we always have to keep them in our prayers,” one Facebook user wrote on the post.
“Community policing. Kindness. Parents raised them right,” another user wrote.
Vieux said the experience changed the way she felt about community policing and she shared the video because she thought others “needed to see” it.
“I thought it was great, especially being African-American,” she said. “You hear so much negativity about police. . . . Some of them genuinely do care.”
Officer Polly, who doesn’t have a Facebook account, said he didn’t learn about the video until later that night when he received a stream of texts from friends and even his mother.
“This isn’t anything too special. I would do this out of uniform. Cops do a lot of great things on a day-to-day basis that don’t usually get recognized,” Polly said. “Hopefully this can help people see that behind the shield we’re just normal folks.”