TOOMBS COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - Neither the deputy nor the mom and little girl had any idea that the photo they took in the Dollar Store would become priceless.
Ava Patterson and Ramon Powell met just yesterday but seem like old friends. Powell was in the store in uniform when Ava spoke.
“I heard her say ‘Hey, Mr. Police,’” Toombs County Sheriff’s Office Sr. Dep. Ramon Powell said.
They exchanged hellos, then Ava went a step further.
“She said she wanted to give him a hug and get a picture with him and before I knew it she was looking for him,” Ava’s mother Tara Taylor said.
Why did she want a picture with the policeman?
“Because he helps people and he's our friend,” Ava said.
“That was one of the best gestures I've ever had in my career. Little Ava has no idea how much that meant to me,” Powell said.
Tara shared the picture with the deputy, and he posted it with his thoughts of how that gesture moved him. It's since gotten thousands of likes and shares as people saw something positive.
“It kept me up all night, just thinking about what she did and how much it meant to me personally.”
Tara says she's talked to Ava about what happened to George Floyd and others who wear the badge.
“There are good people and bad people, good cops, bad cops, good teachers, bad teachers.”
They hope seeing this picture and moment is a small ray of hope.
Both adults say they realize one photo doesn’t change the world. But they hope it’s at least a small start.