Kids surprise police officer with ice pop on hot summer day


In this July 20, 2020 photo provided by Erica Dantzler, Jayden Dantzler-Clay, 5, and his sister Amiyah Dantzler-Clay, 6, hold a box of ice pops with police officer Maj. Richard Gibson at their home in Baltimore. The siblings gave a grape-flavor ice pop to the officer as he worked in their neighborhood on a hot summer day. Two days later, Maj. Gibson came back to return the favor. (Erica Dantzler via AP)

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It was a cool moment on a hot July day.

Six-year-old Amiyah Dantzler-Clay and her 5-year-old brother Jayden saw a police officer parked in front of their Baltimore home and figured he could use a treat. So they took him an ice pop.

Police Maj. Richard Gibson was in the Woodbourne-McCabe neighborhood that day scouting for ways to help improve the area for residents, two days after a homicide outside a vacant house.

Instead he was the beneficiary of the kids’ thoughtful gesture, rolling down his window to receive the refreshing, icy, grape-flavor ice treat.

“It was just the sweetest thing,” he said.

“My purpose is to make their lives better,” Gibson continued. “They live in my district. … This gave me some affirmation of what my purpose is every morning when I wake up.”

The officer was so moved that a couple of days later he returned to their home with a gift: a box full of their favorite frozen pops. The visit was a fun surprise for Amiyah and Jayden, who like other children have been isolated from friends and classmates during the coronavirus pandemic.

“They were jumping up and down,” Gibson said. “It reminded me of my daughters when they were little, and it just made me feel like I was a father again.”

Both kids are fascinated by first responders — the vehicles, the sirens, the uniforms — who have been putting their health on the line each day as essential workers during the pandemic. Amiyah wants to become a police officer when she grows up, while Jayden dreams of becoming a firefighter.

So mom Erica Dantzler said it didn’t surprise her when they asked if they could bring him the cool treat.

“It could be a blizzard outside and they probably would have (said), you know, ‘Can we take them a cup of hot chocolate?’” Dantzler said.

So what do the children like about first responders?

“They’re cool!” Amiyah and Jayden said in unison.

“And they protect us,” Amiyah added.

Dantzler said good deeds are especially important in trying times.

“I’m very proud that they did such a beautiful act of kindness,” she said.


While nonstop news about the effects of the coronavirus has become commonplace, so, too, have tales of kindness. “One Good Thing” is a series of AP stories focusing on glimmers of joy and benevolence in a dark time. Read the series here:


Associated Press religion coverage receives support from the Lilly Endowment through the Religion News Foundation. The AP is solely responsible for this content.

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