A photo of a police officer sitting on the ground talking to a teen with autism who may have been suicidal is going viral with more than 721,000 reactions and 253,000 shares.
The moment — shared by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department in Charlotte, NC, on Facebook — captures Officer Tim Purdy after he was dispatched to respond to a situation involving a high school student who had left campus.
Check out the full Facebook post.
Officer Tim Purdy was dispatched to a situation involving a young autistic high school student who left the campus and ...Posted by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department on Friday, May 13, 2016
The police department also posted a video of Purdy describing the interaction and saying it was an opportunity to bring awareness to autism.
Officer Tim Purdy
The photo of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer Tim Purdy speaking with a suicidal autistic high school student has reached more than 43 million people in the last several days. The outpouring of support and dialogue the image has opened has been nothing short of amazing. A lot of people have commended Officer Purdy for his actions but this is something that police officers do every single day. This encounter just happened to be captured on camera. Listen to how Officer Purdy describes the situation:Posted by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department on Tuesday, May 17, 2016
"This is something that the tens of thousands of law enforcement officers that are out there do every single day," he said. "You just don't hear about it."