The image is that of a New York City police officer giving socks and boots to a homeless man in Times Square on Nov. 14. Jennifer Foster, an Arizona woman visiting New York, took the picture; she said the officer didn’t know he was being photographed.
Weeks later, Foster, a police dispatcher in her hometown, shared it with the NYPD, along with a note, which the department posted to its Facebook page on Tuesday night. It went viral after Reddit users started sharing and commenting on it.
According to Foster’s note:
“The officer said, ‘I have these size 12 boots for you, they are all-weather. Let’s put them on and take care of you.’ The officer squatted down on the ground and proceeded to put socks and the new boots on this man. The officer expected NOTHING in return and did not know I was watching*. I have been in law enforcement for 17 years. I was never so impressed in my life.”
As of Friday morning, the post had more than 500,000 “likes,” nearly 187,000 shares, and tens of thousands of comments.