In a much-needed break from negativity about police encounters with African-Americans, a Louisville, Ky. officer is winning widespread praise after assisting a woman across the finish line in a 10K race over the weekend, reports USA Today.
Louisville Metro Police Lt. Aubrey Gregory offered Asia Ford his arm during Saturday’s Rodes City Run after the lieutenant saw her struggling to complete the race, the report says.
Photos of the two walking arm-in-arm—shared by Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and a paramedic—were viewed millions of times by Sunday afternoon. The photos show the officer on one arm and her son on the other as Ford finished third-to-last.
In an interview with WHAS 11, Ford said she has struggled with her weight for years. She recently joined a boot camp with a group of supportive friends, shedding 25 pounds. Entering the Rodes Run was just part of her continuing effort.
Saturday morning marked a moment to reach another goal: conquer the 10K Rodes City Run. She did well on the more than 6 mile course, until she started to feel sick during the fourth mile. She noticed a stranger drive up.
“I’m not going to let her quit, so I got out and she immediately grabbed my hand,” LMPD Lt. Aubrey Gregory said.
“He asked me if I wanted to stop and I was like, ‘No,’ we have two more miles to go,” she recalled.
Ford took to Facebook to thank Gregory after the race, saying she had “messed up and forgot to eat this morning,” writes USA Today. She called him her angel.