A young black man whose friend was pulled over for speeding by a white Ohio police officer last Sunday received the message of hope instead of jail time for an existing warrant when the sergeant prayed for him and his family after learning that the distraught man’s sister had just been killed in a car accident.
Mark Ross – who was being driven by his friend from Indiana at a high rate of speed in the early morning hours to get to his mother in Detroit, Michigan – expected Ohio Police Sgt. David Robison to give his friend a ticket for speeding and put them both in jail for their outstanding misdemeanor warrants when they were pulled over.
“At 3 a.m., I got a phone call stating that my sister had been killed in a car accident due to some young dumb punk!” in Ross wrote a Facebook post that went viral, which described the chain of events and included a photo of him with the cop. “I hadn’t slept and instantly got on the road. Of course, we were speeding — trying to get back to Detroit — and we got pulled over in Ohio.”
Blessing in disguise
However, instead of getting jail time for his preexisting warrant, Ross told how being pulled over turned out to be a blessing filled with hope … rather than a nightmare.
“I knew I was going to jail due to a petty warrant. The police called Wayne County and they refused to come get me because of the distance,” Ross’s Facebook post continued. “I explained to the officer that my sister had died and that I needed to get to my mother ASAP. I broke down crying and he saw the sincerity in my cry. He REACHES OVER AND BEGAN PRAYING OVER ME AND MY FAMILY.”
Ross then explained how after the prayer, Robison was willing to arrange for officers to go 100 miles out of their way to help him get to Detroit in his time of need – destigmatizing his preexisting view of police.
“He offered to bring me 100 miles further to Detroit because they towed the vehicle,” Ross recounted on social media. “Everybody knows how much I dislike cops, but I am truly grateful for this guy. He gave me hope.”
Breaking to rules to bless
The night for Ross and his friend driving the car could have been much worse. After learning about his sister’s death, Ross begged his friend to drive him – because he does not have his own car or possess a driver license — from Indiana to Detroit, Michigan, so he could be with his family to mourn, according to a report given by Inside Edition. In addition to Ross having a warrant, his friend, who was driving on a suspended driver license, also had an outstanding warrant with police.
Ohio State Highway Patrol Lt. Robert Sellers confirmed Ross’ story that Robison had “shared a prayer” with him and had offered to give him a ride to Detroit to grieve with his family, but he corrected a flawed media report, stating that the plans to arrange the ride actually “fell through.”
“Sgt. Robison and Mr. Ross shared a prayer together and we tried to make arrangements to assist him to get to Michigan, but those arrangements fell through, so we didn’t drive him to Michigan,” Sellers explained to The Christian Post. “And that’s the inconsistency in the stories that got widely reported.”
Beyond the call of duty
Sellers said that even though his department was unable to arrange a way to get Ross to Detroit, the interaction that took place between Robison and Ross is a good portrayal of public servants doing their jobs – and just one example of police officers going above and beyond their call of duty to help.
“It’s a story about a public servant doing our jobs,” the lieutenant insisted. “He went that extra step, and so we have received numerous phone calls and numerous interview requests for Sgt. Robison. And so there has been a real outpouring of support around the whole story.”
He then elaborated about the genuine effort law enforcement officials made to try get Ross to his family in Detroit.
“Geographically, they were in the southwest part of Ohio, and what we offered to do – if Mr. Ross could have got somebody coming from Michigan – we offered to start relaying him to the north and kind of meet in the middle,” Sellers added. “So that was the assistance that we offered, but those plans didn’t come to fruition.”
The Indiana law enforcement official went on to explain that Ross and Robison parted ways at the jail – where the grieving man accompanied his friend to post bond.
“I believe that when we could not solidify plans, we parted ways there at the jail, where Mr. Ross was posting bond for the guy who was driving the car,” Sellers recounted.
In contrast to the numerous media accounts of deadly interactions between police and black men, Ross shared that the compassion he experienced from Robison – and his desire to help – made him feel overcome with hope.
“It was just so overwhelming,” Ross told Inside Edition. “They were trying to help us.”
More than $13,000 in donations have been raised through a GoFundMe campaign set up to help pay for the burial of Ross’s sister.
Copyright American Family News. Reprinted with permission.