DELAWARE COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) – An Indiana man took a selfie with an Indiana State Trooper to send a message. That post has gone viral with more than 400,000 shares.
It happened during a traffic stop along State Road 332.
“It’s been awesome just to see how just a simple interaction on a Friday in Muncie, Indiana, has touched so many people,” Greg Barnes said.
It started as Barnes sped to his Muncie home and passed an Indiana State Trooper.
“Immediately I knew I was in the wrong,” Barnes said.
The lights went off and Barnes pulled over. The trooper said there was nothing memorable about the traffic stop. But that changed as he came back to hand the driver a warning, and after talking for several minutes, Barnes decided to ask the trooper if he’d take a selfie.
Barnes took it to show kids that not all police interactions are bad. Trooper Shawn Cosgrove told WISH-TV why he agreed to take a selfie.
“Because of what he was wanting it for,” Cosgrove said. “I thought that would be a great moment, especially nowadays when there is tension all around the nation when it comes to policing.”
It wasn’t just the photo, Barnes posted a message:
We can continue to fight against each other until we are literally ‘black and blue’, or we can show one another the respect we inherently deserve, not as ‘black man’ and ‘blue police officer,’ but as humans.”
“It made me feel like our interaction could help people and children,” Cosgrove said.
“I think that’s the only race that should truly matter, the human race, and just us showing respect for one another in that interaction, that’s what lead to this,” Cosgrove said.
Although the photo has sparked conversation, Barnes knows it won’t work every time he decides to race home.
“I don’t think I’ll be able to use that one again if I get pulled over,” Cosgrove said.
Both say the reason this interaction went so well was the respect they showed each other. Troopers said it may not get you out of a speeding ticket, but it can make the situation go a lot easier.
Here’s the rest of Barnes message:
I was pulled over today for speeding. The officer did not know me nor did I know him, but we each showed one another a mutual display of respect in our interaction. He was doing his job, and I had made a mistake in trying to hurry home to get started moving that lead to our path’s crossing. He ran my information, and in the end we talked more about how are individual days were going, and the situations and circumstances within our society that have lead to interactions such as he and I’s to play out much more negatively, some even deadly, than ours, than we talked about the situation that lead to him pulling me over. In the end we both thanked each other for our mutual displays of respect and agreed to take a ‘selfie’ together to help tell our story.”