This Illinois man thought he was getting a ticket; he got a job instead.
Ka’Shawn Baldwin, 22, was pulled over on his way to a job interview on Wednesday because he had borrowed a car with expired license plates. Worse, when Cahokia, Ill., Officer Roger Gemoules asked to see his ID, Baldwin’s license was expired.
“I thought it was over,” Baldwin told CNN. “The main thing that was running through my mind [was] I’m fixin’ to miss the job interview and get the car towed that wasn’t even mine.”
But these two men have gone viral on Facebook
over the past 24 hours because instead of writing him a ticket, Gemoules gave Baldwin a ride to his interview at a FedEx
facility in Sauget a few miles away.
“He was very respectful when I pulled him over and you could just tell — I could feel that he really was wanting to get to this job interview,” said Gemoules, a resource officer for Cahokia High School who was on patrol because the school is closed for spring break this week. He let Baldwin drive the car to a safe place to park, following behind, and then gave him a lift to the interview.
Baldwin said he was a few minutes late, but he made it — and he got the job. He told local outlet KSDK that he’s been hired as a package handler at FedEx. He also works at a McDonald’s
in Belleville, Ill., which is a 90-minute bus ride from his East St. Louis home. He’s working both jobs to save up enough to renew his license, get a car and buy a house.
The Cahokia mayor’s assistant, Francella Jackson, shared the story on Facebook on Wednesday that’s drawn more than 28,000 reactions and been shared almost 9,000 times. “I would like to thank Officer Gemoules for showing compassion and being a great example of how community-oriented policing actually works,” Jackson wrote.
Neither man nor the Cahokia police department or mayor’s office were available for comment to MarketWatch, although Officer Gemoules shared a picture of himself with Baldwin on his personal Facebook page, writing, “I appreciate all of the kind words people have said, posted, texted, or called me to say. I enjoy what I do and never expected all of this. There are many police officers that do great things everyday. This one just happened to go viral.”