A poignant photo captures the moment one police officer went above and beyond the call of duty.
A passerby snapped Officer Andy Black, of Overland Park, Kansas, holding and feeding an infant girl on May 30, after the baby’s mother had a seizure while he was working at the Oak Park Mall. The photo has since gone viral, but Black says he was just doing his job.
“All the attention it’s gotten is actually somewhat embarrassing,” Black told TODAY.com. “I did nothing spectacular. I did what any other police officers I work with would do that day,” added the officer, who’s worked for the Overland Park Police Department for 26 years.
Black was on off-duty assignment at the mall that day (meaning he was being paid by the mall, not the city) when he got a radio call that a young woman was having a seizure by one of the mall entrances.
By the time Black got there, the woman was recovering from the seizure but shaking and very confused, he said.
“She had what looked like a 2-month-old baby girl at her feet,” Black said. “She was completely disoriented. I could tell she didn’t know where she was. She picked her baby up, she started trying to feed the baby, and I was afraid she was going to drop her. So I asked if I could hold her and she said sure. The baby was crying, so I fed her.”
The woman was transported to an ambulance, but didn’t go to the hospital.
“She was able to come out of it enough to go home to her husband,” said Black, who has four children and a 14th grandchild on the way.
Artist Jilli Nel was at the mall that day and when she saw what was happening, she took a photo. The image went viral after she posted it on Facebook, calling Black “a quiet hero.” Now fans are applauding the officer for giving police officers everywhere some much-needed positive publicity.
“At a time when there’s a lot of negative press about cops and our profession, it’s always great to see something like this,” said Officer Gary Mason, the public information officer for the Overland Park Police Department.