Friday, November 30, 2012

Was that viral photo of Officer DePrimo buying boots for a homeless man a candid photo or a faked set up photo taken by a Arizona tourist who told the NYT that she just happened to have had a cop father who did the same thing long ago and the sight of the NYC cop doing this touched her heart. She just happens to work for a cop shop in Arizona too as a PR person. Coincidence? Or a real raw candid photo? COMMENTS? I hope I am wrong, but others have also said the same QUESTION. Just a question, not attacking anyone!


It turns out the homeless, barefoot man who captured the hearts of thousands isn’t actually homeless. Jeffrey Hillman, the recipient of a pair of boots given by a good samaritan New York City police officer, has an apartment in the Bronx, officials told the New York Daily News.
According to the Daily News, the 54-year-old Hillman lived in transitional housing sites called “Safe Havens,” from 2009 until 2011. He then secured his current apartment through a Department of Veterans Affairs program that helps homeless vets. Barbara Brancaccio, a spokeswoman for the city agency, told the Daily News that outreach services continue to try and help Hillman, but he “has a history of turning down services.”
After New York City Police Officer Larry DePrimo spotted Hillman barefoot on the street in November, the cop went and bought the man a pair of warm boots. DePrimo's act of kindness was photographed by a passerby and posted online, where it went viral and drew attention to both men.>
Date: Mon, 03 Dec

Mr. Bloom,

I was forwarded your below email.  The answer to your question and response to your blog is no the photo was not set up or a fake photo.  Ms. Foster was on vacation with her boyfriend [and not her "husband" as media first reported] when she took the photo.  She never notified the NYPD Officer of the photo nor had she ever meet the officer before last Friday when they met for the first time on the "Today Show" in New York.  I have known and worked with Ms. Foster for nearly 17 years.  Her integrity is never a question.  Ms. Foster is known for recognizing individuals who do good deeds whether they be one of her dispatchers or a deputy on the street. 

Tim Gaffney

PS: She was there with her boyfriend not ''husband'' [as NYT incorrectly reported].  Her job does not involve PR and even though mine does, I didn't know anything about the conference nor did she. She was there solely as a tourist. Thanks again for clearing up this issue. Sorry if I sound defensive but if you knew Ms Foster as I do you would understand how ridiculous this allegation against her is.
Tim Gaffney

Director of Communications/Grants
Pinal County Sheriff's Office
971 Jason Lopez Circle
Florence, Arizona  85231

NYT dishes new story, but they Still don't get it....the big question
is DID JENNIFER FOSTER SET UP THAT PHOTO as a PR stunt in cahoots with
NYPD PR dept? yES OR NO? The 3rd count em 123 NYT piece this time
goes to Hillman the con man and they quote him as saying after the
reporter asks where the shoes are that the officer gave him "Those
shoes are hidden. They are worht a lot of money. I could lose my
life." Obviosuly, the man is mentally unhealthy and needs help. Not
interviewing by the Times. More to the point of NEXT JOURNALISM, the
NYT needs to ask the so called Arizon "tourist" and i put the the word
tourist in CAVEAT QUOTEs there becauyse as a PR officer for the Pinal
COunty Po0lice dept in Arizon she was more than just a mere Tourist in
NYC. Was she attending a PR event that week? In cahoots with NYPD PR
people? someone needs to ask her and ask her fast. This story has
spiralled out of control, and it neve3r should have been a story at
all. It was never fact checked or vettted. The Times and the WSJ have
scrambled egg on their collective face. Verify, then trust. Verify,
then print. This story is a mess.

UPDATED .......DEC. 3, 2012

NYC  newspapers follow story of cop, boots and barefoot man after DAN BLOOM in Taiwan chases down the bare naked FACTS of this developing story factchecked later by DAN BLOOM and apparently NOBODY ELSE!

Some stories break. Others, as legendary editor Gene Roberts famously observed, ooze. The story of a New York City police officer’s kindness to a homeless man broke last week, went viral on social media and attracted widespread coverage from the established media. It began oozing on Friday. But Dan Bloom smelled a skunk. READ ON.

Was that viral photo of Officer DePrimo buying boots for a homeless man a candid photo or a faked set up photo taken by a Arizona tourist who told the NYT that she just happened to have had a cop father who did the same thing long ago and the sight of the NYC cop doing this touched her heart. And out of 14 million people in NYC as a tourist she just happens to be a the right place at the right time to snap that photo??????
re 8 MEDIA HOAXES THIS YEAR: and another one?

She just happens to work for a cop shop in Arizona too as a PR person. Coincidence? Or a real raw candid photo? COMMENTS? I hope I am wrong, but others have also said the same QUESTION. Just a question, not attacking anyone!

The photo was taken by Jennifer Foster, a civilian communications director for the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office in Arizona.

She said the moment resonated for personal reasons: She remembered as a young girl seeing her father, a 32-year veteran of the Phoenix police force, buy food for a homeless man.


On a cold November night in Times Square, Officer Lawrence DePrimo was working a counterterrorism post when he encountered an older, barefooted homeless man. The officer disappeared for a moment, then returned with a new pair of boots, and knelt to help the man put them on.
The act of kindness would have gone unnoticed and mostly forgotten, had it not been for a tourist from Arizona.

Her snapshot — taken with her cellphone on Nov. 14 and posted to the New York Police Department’s official Facebook page late Tuesday — has made Officer DePrimo an overnight Internet hero.

The Wall Street Journal's photo.

Pass on the goodwill...BUT..............
On a cold November night, a New York City police officer bought shoes for a barefoot homeless man:

His act of kindness was captured in a photo by an Arizona tourist and catapulted him to Internet fame.

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Foster via NYPD Facebook


 "I don't think this is a hoax, and I hope I'm right.......[.I HOPE SHE IS RIGHT TOO]....... My initial thought was that he's 25 yrs. old and has only been on the force for 2-2 1/2 years. I think that initial "I'm going to do my part and/or impact the world" thing that all of us have at some point in our careers hasn't worn off yet. There are people that keep this attitude througout their careers, but unfortunately the stress from work can often turn us into robots and we lose that twinkle in our eyes.''

2. commenter
''I hope we don't find out this was ''staged''....... because it's the loveliest thing I've heard about in a very long time.''

  • yadin
  • Germany wrote to NYT
''This reminds me of a line in "Desiderata" which says - "with all its shams, drudgery and broken dreams it's still a beautiful world". With his noble gesture, this young officer on duty should be commended.''

  • Amthinkin
  • CT

  • ''Best. cell. phone. picture. ever. .....BUT IS IT REAL GENUINE CANDID PHOTO OR STAGED? ......The Officer's hands are in a gentle position, the homeless man is a representation of the poor, and a small picture of a jogger on a beach running away is on the left advertisement in the shot. The officer made the better choice.

    This is a Christmas scene. It is beautiful. Compassion is more powerful than our weapons, more powerful than the freezing cold.''

  • Rachael78
  • New York, NY

  • ''This photograph was staged and is supposed to be a distraction from the FACTS of racial profiling and rampant police brutality.

    This is propaganda from NY’s finest because they think they will lose the overtime paid for warrant-less stops of African American and Latino men. We are living in an Apartheid state. Stop and frisk must end.''

    ''And the irony of the shoe display a few yards from the homeless...'' IN THE PHOTO IN NYT

    • Utah Volunteer
    • Utah
    ''I am sure this officers intentions were well taken, but I will tell you that I met this exact same homeless man on Nov 19. I was in NYC with the Red Cross. This man did not have the boots the officer gave him, I actually ended up giving him a Red Cross blanket and all the change I had in my pocket. What I want to know is what happened to these boots between the 14th and the 19th?''



    dan said...


    Anonymous said...

    Anonymous said...

    NY Cop giving a brand new pair boots to a shoeless homeless man in
    subway. (

    "Jennifer Foster of Florence, AZ was visiting Times Square with her
    husband Nov. 14 when they saw a shoeless man asking for change. She
    writes, “Right when I was about to approach, one of your officers came
    up behind him. The officer said, ‘I have these size 12 boots for you,
    they are all-weather. Let’s put them on and take care of you.’ The
    officer squatted down on the ground and proceeded to put socks and the
    new boots on this man. The officer expected NOTHING in return and did
    not know I was watching*. I have been in law enforcement for 17 years.
    I was never so impressed in my life. I did not get the officer’s name.
    It is important, I think, for all of us to remember the real reason we
    are in this line of work. The reminder this officer gave to our
    profession in his presentation of human kindness has not been lost on
    myself or any of the Arizona law enforcement officials with whom this
    story has been shared.” Our thanks to the Fosters for their attention
    and appreciation, and especially to this officer, who remains

    Send us your NYPD snapshots via Facebook message, and/or email the
    Department through

    *image cropped from the distance at which it was taken"

    from NYPD facebook page

    Anonymous said...

    sources unmasked the homeless man as 54-year-old Jeffery Hillman, a petty criminal who has been arrested nearly a dozen times since 1983. Most of his 11 collars are for drug possession, but others include criminal mischief and public lewdness.

    A police source said Hillman is often seen strolling barefoot in the area and suspect it’s part of a scam to squeeze donations from tourists. Hillman, who last lived in a Harlem YMCA in April, could not be reached Friday for comment.

    Read more:

    Goodman said...

    I have done my own analysis of this situation with the officer, jennifer foster, and the homeless man, and I believe it to be a publicity stunt. Check out my article.

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