GARDEN CITY, Ga. -- A Georgia police officer who made national headlines for his message on social media has once again found another national outlet to spread his message – the T.D. Jakes show.
Garden City Lt. Tim McMillan expressed his frustration and dismay after learning that a young black man he had just pulled over was terrified – not because of wrong-doing, but because he feared police.
McMillan said in his Facebook post that he merely wanted the young man to make it home safely. He later went on to explain in his post that he hoped that the divide between police and the black community could be mended – however possible.
“I don’t care who’s to blame,” he said. “I just wish somebody would fix it.”
He explained on the T.D. Jakes show that the post was “almost therapeutic”.
“It was exasperation,” he said. “After seeing what I saw, it became real to me.”
It was the eye-opener that led him to share a post on his page that touched millions of hearts.
“I have apologized to a lot of people for ignorance, I’ll say that,” he told Jakes. “What I saw on T.V. was on T.V. – it was miles away; could have been anywhere to me.”
He said that those situations weren’t real to him at that time.
“That night I had worked a 16-hour shift – worked over. I was off the clock; I was on the way home,” he said. “I saw him swerving and it scared me. When I stopped him, it was solely – I wasn’t even going to write a ticket.”
He said it was the look in the young man’s eyes that changed those far away moments to a sadness that hit close to home.
“I’ve done street level interdiction work – I know when people are nervous,” McMillan said. “Everybody gets nervous in front of the police – I get nervous. But what I saw was fear.”
He said that, at that moment, he went from police officer to father.
“I looked in his eyes and my 4-year-old son has beautiful brown eyes and that’s the eyes I saw,” he said.
Unable to sleep that night, he posted his experience to Facebook and there’s one part of the situation that he hadn’t told many and that reinforced his faith in God.
“I’ve told people time and time again, if you don’t believe in God, let me tell you a story. I’m honored to be on here; none of this was by me,” he said. “When I made that post, I didn’t know it was public.”
Even weeks later, now a story that many had heard, it was enough to bring show host T.D. Jakes to tears.
“You saw something that I think we need to see about each other,” Jakes said. “Away from the headlines, away from the media, away from the drama – that’s somebody’s kid, both in the uniform in the blue and the brown and the white.”