Tommy Norman, an Arkansan police officer from North Little Rock was patrolling the streets of his town last June when he stumbled upon a peculiar scene. Upon seeing an empty stroller on a sidewalk he decided to investigate further, after which he discovered a visibly pregnant woman lying on the ground. The lady was holding a toddler to her chest and the two appeared to be sleeping.
When Norman woke the woman named Jessica up, he didn’t know he was in for a discovery of a particularly heartbreaking life story. Due with her second child at any moment – a baby boy who was to be named Xavier, she had nowhere to go with her toddler daughter, Kayla.
Jessica and Kayla became homeless in March this year due to domestic abuse which the mother felt she had to take her daughter away from. At first, they resided at a woman’s shelter but were forced to leave when they reached the maximum allotted time at the facility.
Officer Norman decided to intervene and took the pregnant mother and her daughter to a motel and posted a video on his social media pages which soon went viral, with countless people all around the country and abroad offering help.
Thanks to the video, generous donations started pouring in, including clothes, shoes, diapers and toys. Jessica gave birth to Xavier only days after her encounter with Officer Norman and the tiny motel room packed with items people had donated became the home of a family of three. Additionally, two pledges from individuals in Los Angeles in New York came in offering to cover seven months of rent for an apartment for the young family.
This case is not the first time Officer Tommy Norman has done incredible community work in North Little Rock. He has gained national attention for his unorthodox positive approach to community policing which includes thousands of video posts, pictures and continuous day-to-day engagement in the neighborhood. He has been dubbed ‘Social Media Cop’ and USA Today reports that Norman is known for “his playfulness, kindness, and especially compassion for the people in his community”.