Mother of four Lynn Murphy was panhandling in Massachusetts, asking for money from drivers, when a state police officer pulled up to her. Initially, he just drove past her. But he came back with food for her that he had picked up at a nearby restaurant. The woman thought he was stopping to give her a ticket for panhandling, but he gave her the food instead. However, he didn’t just leave it with her. He asked her to come around to the back end of his cruiser and he sat on the bumper and ate with Lynn, having something of a picnic.
That police officer was Luke Bonin and a passerby took a photo of the two eating together and posted it to Facebook. It has been shared more than 100,000 times.
Says Lynn: “I thought he was just going to hand me the meal but when he said: “Come around the back, it’s such a beautiful day, we’ll have a picnic,’ I thought that was… it touched my heart.”
The state police department also posted the photo on their website, and explained it with this: “He very reluctantly told us how he ended up sitting on his cruiser’s bumper that day sharing lunch with a stranger. Trooper Bonin had just left court when he drove by the woman, who appeared down on her luck. She was holding a sign and asking for help from anyone who would pay attention.
Trooper Bonin continued to drive on – directly to a local establishment, where he ordered two meals. He returned to the woman, pulled up, and exited his cruiser. Thinking he was there to remove her from the side of the road, she immediately stated to him that she would leave, that she knew she shouldn’t be there with her sign. But Trooper Bonin told her, “I’m not here to kick you out.” He then extended the two meals and told her to pick one.
They then sat, shared a meal, and a conversation.
Yes, Trooper Bonin, we know you do not want or expect publicity. We know you didn’t want to be noticed, but you were, and the job is proud of you. We commend you for your selfless act, and for “doing the right thing” for someone less fortunate than most people.
We have extraordinary troopers on the Massachusetts State Police who conduct themselves honorably, and perform selfless acts, every day. Most times, it goes unnoticed. But not this day.”
Photo courtesy: Massachusetts State Police