On patrol in North Little Rock, Arkansas one evening, police officer Tommy Norman saw a sight that he later said was something you might see in a movie but not real life. Jessica, a pregnant woman was asleep on the sidewalk with her 2-year-old daughter Kayla resting on top of her. When the officer woke her up, Jessica was afraid she was in trouble with the law. But Tommy Norman is no ordinary cop: he’s well-known for his playful camaraderie with the citizens he serves as well as his compassionate nature. He just wanted to know how she’d ended up sleeping on the sidewalk.
Jessica’s explanation was heartbreaking. She’d been in a “crazy, abusive” marriage and she’d finally managed to escape that with Kayla. A local women’s shelter took them in for as long as they could but now they had no place to go. Sleeping on a sidewalk next to a busy street was probably safer than curling up on someone’s porch. There was no telling how a suspicious homeowner would react: for all she knew, they could get shot.
Instead of dropping them off at a homeless shelter, where they’d only be able to stay a night, officer Norman checked them into a motel so they’d at least be someplace safe where they could collect themselves. He posted a video of the exhausted woman and her confused and frightened daughter and the internet responded in a big way. People donated money, food, and children’s items. There was eventually seven month’s rent money! Rather than leave Jessica, Kayla, and newborn Xavier on their own, Officer Norman is helping them look for permanent housing while Jessica starts the job hunting process.
As you’ll see in the video we’ve posted, Officer Norman went well above and beyond the call of duty. We’re hoping that Jessica and her children will successfully start their new life now that they’ve escaped from not just one, but two bad situations.
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