A South Carolina police office was traveling down a busy highway when he noticed an out-of-place car parked on the side of the road. He took a closer look and saw a woman inside with a younger male. After noticing what the two were doing, it caused him to act quickly.
Beufort County Patrolman Adam Klimek described highway 170 as being a “nightmare” and the last place you would want to park, but that’s where he found the mother and son. The woman, Charvia Watkins, said she had no choice but to stop there. Her car had broken down, and she was stuck in the heat with her young son Jeriah, who wasn’t handling the stranded situation very well. Things for the family quickly went from bad to worse.
Jeriah is autistic and the speeding cars whizzing by and the heat sent his sensitivities through the roof. Charvia had to give him ear protection at one point, but managing him proved to be a massive handful, making it next to impossible to make the calls for assistance she needed. Then flashing blue lights came up behind the car, which only exacerbated the boy’s irritation. He began to get unruly at the sensory overload and feared that they were in trouble. That’s when trooper Klimek opened the door and did something this overwhelmed mother didn’t expect.
The trooper put the two in his air-conditioned patrol car to get some relief from the heat, but that wasn’t sufficient enough for how he wanted to help. He could see that Jeriah was having a hard time with the situation and his mother was having a worse time controlling him so that she could make a call to the towing company. Klimek began asking the boy questions about his interests and discovered that he liked to watch Netflix on his iPad, WBTW reported.
Patrolman Adam Klimek (left) with Jeriah (right)
Next thing Charvia knew, her son was subdued by the officer’s laptop after he had pulled up an episode of Curious George, which Jeriah had told the cop was his favorite. The mother was able to make the arrangements for roadside assistance that she wouldn’t have been able to do so well otherwise, had it not been for the cop caring about the boy so much and making sure he was comfortable.
Charvia’s parting message for the patrolman was much different from what the media perpetuates about how white cops treat black citizens. With sincere gratitude for his service, she said, “I just want to tell him thank you very much from the bottom of our hearts, and we really appreciate you.” Klimek proved in this instance that black lives matter to police officers, all lives do, in a really meaningful way.
Not once did Charvia assume the cop was about to brutalize her and her son because they were black and he was white. She’s been told to be afraid, but she has more sense than to fall into that misplaced hate, opting instead for the reality that officers want to serve and protect. That is exactly what trooper Klimek did here in every sense of those words.