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Larry DePrimo
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Crime Fighter
    Lawrence DePrimo
    26-year-old New York City police officer, patrolman
    Purchased socks and a pair of boots for a bare-footed homeless black man, while on duty in Times Square (Nov. 4, 2012)
    Interaction was photographed, unbeknownst to him, by a visiting Arizonan tourist, Jennifer Foster; photos later went viral on Facebook
    'Random act of kindness' photo was covered by The Daily Mail, Good Morning America, The New York Post, The Today Show, and Fox & Friends
    He looks like Justin 'Rated R' Rego the Wrestler from Ali Fedotowski's season of 'The Bachelorette.'
    Headlines tended to read something along the lines of 'cop buys homeless man shoes' when he actually bought him thermal socks and a pair of boots.
    His story sounds like the premise for a really bad Hallmark Channel original Christmas movie.
    There were questions from cynics as to whether or not the photo was generated publicity concocted by the city leadership.
    The publicity generated from the incident also led to several conspiracy theories, including one that asserted that the officer was actually a man by the name of Brett Greenberg, whose many faces doubled as an Islamic agent, shooting victim, and Occupy protestor.
    The heartfelt nature of the story suffers a little in the translation when you realize that the homeless man he helped had his own apartment in the Bronx and was making enough money from panhandling to buy shoes whenever he wanted (he also apparently discarded the boots he was gifted with days later, seeming to prefer being shoeless).
    Although his act of kindness preceded the wave of anti-police sentiment that would take place after Ferguson, its safe to say that his story was used as a means of countering/distracting from stories of police brutality that were beginning to spring up in large numbers.
    He remained humble in the national spotlight.
    The story he told - on its own - was refreshingly heartwarming.
    His story drew comparisons to the Parable of The Good Samaritan.
    He was nicknamed 'Boots' by his co-workers after the incident went viral.
    He was motivated to help Jeff Hillman ('the homeless man') after seeing him mocked by passersby, despite his being barefoot on a freezing night.
    He reportedly only told close family members about the incident and was shocked when the image exploded on the internet only days later.
    That he was most likely scammed into buying an expensive pair of boots doesn't take away from his good intentions (he really believed the man's claim that he 'never had a pair of shoes').
    When Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly learned of his act, he gifted him with an expensive set of cufflinks which read 'commissioner' on them.
    He was rewarded for his kindness by being promoted to detective after 2-1/2 years with the force (his superiors pointed out that his record - on its own - justified the promotion).
    He was named 'Humanitarian of the Year' for the Morris County Columbus Day Parade (2013).
    He keeps the $75 receipt for the Sketchers boots he purchased underneath his work vest as a reminder that, no matter how tough things are, some people out there have it tougher.
    When asked who his role model was that influenced his actions, he named his grandfather, further explaining: 'he told me when I was much younger, if you are going to do something, do it 100 percent. And do it, or don't do it at all, and I think that stuck with me my entire life.'

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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