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When it comes to the relationship between civilians and law enforcement, there seems to be nothing but negativity being reported as of late. Tragic shooting after tragic shooting, regardless of your stance on them, is certainly not the ideal relationship we’d like to see between us and those intended to “keep the peace.”

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But I’m happy to share a desperately needed positive story involving an officer and a group of inmates at Parker County Jail in Weatherford, Texas.

While on duty at the aforementioned correctional facility, a jailer — who has chosen to remain anonymous — suffered a heart attack within eye sight of a number of the inmates he was guarding. Startled by this, and wanting to help the man in need, the inmates immediately began calling for help but could not seem to attract the attention of any of the other staff on duty.

The group then worked together to break themselves out of the holding cell to both bring themselves to the man’s aid, and to strengthen their ability to call for assistance. Here is Media24‘s coverage of the event:

What is particularly inspiring about the act of care and courage is the fact that once broken out of the cell, the inmates could have easily acted selfishly and freed themselves with the now available jailer’s keys. But instead, none of them even considered doing this, and just focused on saving the man’s life while ensuring to protect their own well-being once help had arrived.

This isn’t the first time that prisoners shattered societal expectations. In October of 2015 I wrote about a group of inmates that beat a team from Harvard University in an educational debate.

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Events such as this remind me that no one, regardless of their history, deserves to be associated with stereotypes. We are all unique individuals that are forever growing and changing. Let’s do our part to not uphold unnecessary judgement, and perhaps we can mend the currently strained relationship between us and those hired to enforce the law.

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