DPD officer talks about display of kindness shown to man outside courthouse in Detroit

Posted at 7:39 PM, Aug 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-31 19:40:06-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Detroit Police Corporal Eric O'Neil had just wrapped up a court case inside 36th District Court in downtown Detroit when a young man approached the corporal for some help.

The young man asked if he knew how to tie a tie.

Corporal O'Neil then proceeded to help by placing the stranger's tie around his own neck to show him how it's done.

After the quick instruction, O'Neil gently placed the tie back around the young man's neck.

"And he just kind of stood there," said O'Neil, taking that as a sign that the young man needed just a little more help.

"I flipped his collar up. I showed him what part of the tie to pull down and push this up and kind of squared him away," he said.

What the young man and the corporal didn't know is that Judge Adrienne Hinnant-Johnson was upstairs, looking out her window, smiling at what she was witnessing.

The judge snapped a photo and posted it to Facebook. "This heartwarming scene was outside my office window. A DPD officer helping a young man tie his tie," she wrote.

Detroit Police eventually spotted the post, highlighting the kindness of their officers that often goes unnoticed.

One of the comments on DPD's Facebook page was from the mother of the young man in the photo.

"That was my son who asked him to fix his tie," she wrote. "He had been on YouTube all morning trying to tie it."

And the young man should probably know that he's in good company when it comes to needing a little help from the corporal.

"To this day, my brother can't tie a tie," O'Neil said with a smile. "I tie his and they stay tied in his closet, still, to this day."

Corporal O'Neil said he has no idea why the young man was going to court that day. He never asked him because it didn't matter.

"I was taught at a very young age to treat people how you want to be treated," he said. "Help people that need help and it's really that simple."