GARDEN CITY, GA. - A south Georgia police officer is now receiving worldwide attention after his touching post that detailed the moment that he saw the fear in the eyes of a young black man he had just pulled over the night before.
In the post, Garden City Police officer Tim McMillan said he made the stop because the driver appeared to be texting while driving. But soon, the situation took on a much greater meaning.
"I found a young black male who was looking at me like he was absolutely terrified with his hands up," McMillan said.
He said the driver asked him what he wanted him to do, his voice quivering.
"I looked at him for a moment because what I was seeing made me sad," he said. "I said, 'I just don't want you to get hurt.'"
The young driver asked if he should get out of the car. McMillan said he then elaborated on his previous comment.
"I said, 'No, I don't want you to text and drive. I don't want you to get in a wreck. I want your mom to always have her baby boy. I want you to grow up and be somebody. I don't even want to write you a ticket," he wrote in the now-viral social media post. "Just please pay attention, and put the phone down. I just don't want you to get hurt."
McMillan ended his post with a simple request that, unfortunately, has yet to have a simple answer.
"I truly don't even care who's fault it is that young man was so scared to have a police officer at his window," he said. "Blame the media, blame bad cops, blame protestors, or Colin Kaepernick if you want. It doesn't matter to me who's to blame. I just wish somebody would fix it."
That one introspective post of a small town officer's experience has gone from a chance to vent frustrations to a worldwide message that placed McMillan in the spotlight literally overnight.
"I posted a status on Facebook about that very sadness this morning and went to bed," McMillan said in a later post. "I woke-up to discover my status had been shared almost 2,000 times (so far). All over the country! People, of all races genders and backgrounds were commenting, and messaging me."
A fan page was later created so that he could communicate with all the people now flooding his inbox with messages and praise. It already has more than 12,000 followers.
It also served as an opportunity to thank all of his well-wishers and to pass along a message - all while dealing with the realities of being an officer in a coastal town that would, just days later, be hit by one of the most powerful storms to approach the state's coastline in years.
Garden City is one of only a handful of cities - including Savannah - in Chatham County, Ga.
"As I sit here, almost one week after that original post, Hurricane Matthew is literally tearing into my home of Savannah. I don't know if my home is still standing. I cannot hear any legitimate 'real time info' for what's going on," he said. "I worry for my friends, coworkers and loved ones who either weren't able to flee or couldn't flee the storm."
The area is now picking up the pieces after the major storm - the second of two in which an officer became suddenly embroiled in mere days.
A message of peace when the country needs it most - it was just one part of a very long post detailing what life had been like for an officer who decided to click the "world" symbol on a heartfelt Facebook post one day - and found out hours later that the world got his message.
© 2017 WXIA-TV