Sweeping the Internet this week is one super adorable photo of a Kansas police officer feeding a baby girl while cradling her in his arms. But the sweet story behind the photo and why it was taken is what’s really getting everyone’s attention. According to Kansas City's Fox 4 News, the heartwarming scene went down at the Oak Park Mall on May 30, where Officer Andy Black was working his regular off-duty gig as a mall security guard. There, he came to the aid of an unnamed woman who had just suffered from a seizure, and was barely able to her hold her baby.
"By the time I got there, the lady had recovered somewhat, and was sitting on a seat with a small baby in a carrier at her feet," Officer Black told Fox 4. "She was still shaking very badly, and I was afraid that she would drop the baby."
Though the woman's husband was also there, Black told the outlet that he was busy at the time talking with paramedics. So the officer only did what he thought was natural: he asked if he could hold the baby himself, and scooped the little girl up in his arms to comfort her.
As Officer Black later shared:
She had the baby and was putting the bottle in her mouth, and when she gave her to me, she handed me the bottle. The baby started crying. I'm a grandpa. I took the bottle, and I fed the baby.
It was a simple, yet kind gesture that clearly struck a chord in at least one passerby. So touched was one woman by what she saw, that Jilli Nel snapped a quick photo of the cop and posted it to Facebook, where it's now swiftly going viral. According to Fox 4 News, Nel is an artist, as well as a bit of an amateur photographer. Speaking with the outlet, she said, "I looked and the next thing I saw Officer Black, and there he was, holding this little tiny bundle of joy, just feeding her, the two of them in their own little world."
In her Facebook caption, Nel wrote, "This is what we don't get to see. The times of the quiet hero... going beyond his duty. My heart was sooooo warmed." (Mine too, Nel; mine too.) The photo has since racked up hundreds of shares and plenty of news coverage in the last week, with kind words pouring in from all over. "Hooray for those who are supposed to be the good guys and truly ARE," wrote JD White in a comment on Nel's post. "How precious! I'm sharing," added Facebook user Kay Swartz.
Of course, with the Internet being the Internet, the story has also garnered its fair share of haters. "Some people have turned it into, you know, this is a set up photo," said Nel. "It wasn't. It was just a pure moment that I had to capture."
I, for one, am glad she did.
Image: Jilli Nel/Facebook