Greg Barnes was in a hurry to get home on Friday, so when he saw police lights behind him on State Road 332 in Muncie, Indiana, "immediately I knew I was in the wrong," he tells WISH. What followed was "a simple interaction" that has touched hundreds of thousands of people. Police officer Shawn Cosgrove, who is white, chatted with Barnes, who is black, after running Barnes' information and handing him a warning. The talk turned to negative and even deadly police encounters, and Barnes asked if the two could take a selfie; the officer agreed. "I thought that would be a great moment, especially nowadays when there is tension all around the nation when it comes to policing," Cosgrove says. "It made me feel like our interaction could help people and children."
Barnes posted the photo to Facebook in a post that's been shared some 465,000 times as of this writing. "The officer did not know me nor did I know him, but we each showed one another a mutual display of respect," Barnes writes. "Neither of us are the enemy. We can continue to fight against each other until we are literally 'black and blue,' or we can show one another the respect we inherently deserve, not as 'black man' and 'blue police officer,' but as humans. None greater, none less." WGN points out the hashtag Barnes ended his post with: #Respect. In a subsequent Facebook post made on Sunday, Barnes added, "Together, we, the only race that matters, the human race, can all make this world a better place than we found it." (This guy took a different kind of selfie with a police officer.)