No one expected this police chase would end in a heartwarming scene…
A Kentucky police chase that spanned numerous counties ended in a tight hug between the police chief and the suspect.
The pursuit reportedly began when Latrece Curry, of Lebanon, Ky., fled from units in a neighboring county just as an ice storm was coming to town Wednesday. Police used a “rolling roadblock tactic” to bring the pursuit to an end without injury, the department wrote on Facebook.
TMZ reports Curry had been involved in an undisclosed domestic situation with her husband and hit the gas when police tried tracking her down.
Curry had become afraid for her life after the incident with her husband and fled the home before police could arrive at the scene. While on the road, she drove very fast and attracted the attention of the police in the community. As a Black woman, she knew that her life was in danger when she was surrounded by armed officers in the parking lot. One wrong move and she could become the latest police brutality statistic.
Chief James Richardson described the look on Curry’s face as “sheer terror” when she was surrounded by officers with guns drawn, while squad sirens wailed.
“The look on her face was of sheer terror,” Richardson said, according to a Facebook post. “She was shaking and it was obvious she was scared. I talked to her to calm her down and then she hugged me. That has never happened to me after a pursuit.”
Fortunately, Chief Richardson trained his officers well.
“I got to the driver’s side door and told her to unlock the door. She had her hands up. She was shaking like a leaf. I mean the poor girl, when I opened the door, it was like a look of sheer terror. She was scared to death,” Richardson told The New York Post.
Richardson can be heard on the footage telling Curry it was “okay” and to “calm down” as she uncontrollably sobs. Other officers also dropped their weapons.
“Of course we had guns, guns pointed at her, so I just tried to calm her down,” Richardson said, according to the NYP. “She was shaking so bad she couldn’t get her seatbelt off, so I helped her get her seat belt off.”
“I didn’t perceive her as a threat, she didn’t have any weapons. I took control of her hands, she started crying. She reached out and hugged me and I just kind of hugged her back,” he recalled.
The 23-year law enforcement veteran said ending a pursuit with a hug was a first for him. He urges other cops to use compassion and empathy while on the job – instead of resorting to violence.
“Compassion is a good thing to have, especially in policing. With everything going on in the world today, everybody makes mistakes,” he said. “(This was a) great example of keeping your emotions in check at the end of a pursuit.”
Curry, 41, was taken into custody without incident. Facebook users piled on praise for the peaceful conclusion to the harrowing incident.
“Teach your fellow officers please! This is how it’s done,” wrote Letitia Crawford. “Sometimes people just need a hug.”
Others praised Richardson not just for his compassion, but also for his cool.
“The difference between a man with 15 plus years with experience vs. a brand new gungho officer ready to whoop ass,” wrote Dom Howe. “This just made me tear up. This man has a heart of gold… thank god he was there.”
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