VICKSBURG, Miss. (WJTV) – A young man with cerebral palsy gets the experience of a lifetime during a Mardi Gras celebration in Vicksburg.
Jimmy Stamey has a fascination with law enforcement and a kind gesture from an officer there took his experience to the next level.
“It was a really good feeling knowing that a police officer would come over and do that. Especially for Jimmy with his needs and everything.” Donnie Parker, Jimmy’s father, said.
Jimmy Stamey’s parents say he is still on cloud nine after an encounter he had with Vicksburg Police Officer Claude Billings over the weekend.
“He can’t talk and he can’t walk very much. Other than that he is a happy kid. Even when he is hurting, he always has a smile on his face,” Parker said.
Going to the Vicksburg Mardi Gras parade is a Parker family tradition.
While other people around him were catching beads, Jimmy just watched.
That all changed when he got a special delivery.
“I noticed the young man smiling and waving at me when I was working the parade so I just thought I would make his day,” Officer Claude Billings, with the Vicksburg Police Department, said.
But his family says it’s been more like he made his week.
“I pulled up on him and showed him the blue lights in the sirens. I got off and shook his hand,” Officer Billings said.
“The necklace he gave him was a special one, with the police badge on the police officer on the badge. He got off his motorcycle a little while later and said he just wanted to shake Jimmy’s hand. It just tickled Jimmy to death because like I said he loves cops,” Parker said.
Someone in the crowd snapped a photo and posted it to Facebook. Soon after, it went viral.
“I had no idea that it was going to hit social media like it did until I got home that night,” Officer Billings said.
“He saw this young man and took time out of his schedule. Got off his motorcycle and went over and spoke with him. Little did we know, it really did tremendous good to Jimmy to have contact with the law enforcement officer.” Chief Walter Armstrong, of the Vicksburg Police Department, said.
“I am just thankful to be in the position I am where I can help people in the city of Vicksburg,” Officer Billings said.
Officer Billings has been in law enforcement for more than 20 years.
He has been serving in Vicksburg for a little more than a year now and he tells us he’s grateful for the opportunity.