CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago Police vehicle crashed into a tree and began billowing with smoke with the officer still inside when a Good Samaritan came to the rescue.
The image of a man on Chicago’s South side helping a wounded police officer is creating more than well-wishes; it is showing compassion in a community that often deals with feelings of mistrust towards police.
CBS 2’s Audrina Bigos spoke with the man that captured the moment on video.
A commute from work turned unusually camera-worthy when Kevin Russell saw a police squad swerve and crash into a tree.
The incident happened on 82nd and Jeffrey on Chicago’s South side.
“I could tell something incredible was about to happen. I was like ‘Wow! This is an incredible scene right here!’” Russell said, witnessing the act of kindness.
A man in a white shirt opened the driver’s side door and pulled the police officer out of the car. The video went viral.
Some people took to Facebook to comment, some saying he should have left the officer there and some praising him for helping.
“People think that people of color and police don’t get along and don’t have a good relationship, but in a situation like this when something incredible happens, you do the right thing,” Russell said. “You jump into action. This isn’t a police officer. This is a human being.”
James Morgan also jumped in to help and hopes the video shows what his South side neighborhood is all about.
“Wasn’t no animosity,” Morgan said. “Wasn’t nobody trying to hurt him anymore, just trying to help. That what it’s about.”
“I was really able to capture the real heart of the South side of Chicago and the citizens in the city of Chicago,” said Russell.
Moments before the rescue, Chicago Police say the squad car, on the way to a foot chase, had its lights and sirens on when it crashed into the tree. The officer was trying to avoid hitting a car that cut him off.
The video has more than 100,000 views and comments on Facebook.