On February 18, 2017, Che Milton – an officer with the Atlanta Police Department – was dispatched to a local Family Dollar after a 12-year-old girl was caught stealing a $2.00 pair of shoes. Despite still being in his first week with the department, Milton handled the situation like a professional and decided to help.
He asked the little girl why she was stealing and her answer nearly broke his heart – her 5-year-old sister needed the shoes, but her family couldn’t afford them. Wanting to learn more about the conditions she was living in, Milton decided to drive the little girl home so he could see for himself. He was heartbroken.
He was devastated when he walked into the house and saw the poor conditions with his own eyes. He noted that there weren’t enough beds for the little girl and her four siblings, there was only one sofa in the entire home, and there wasn’t a lot of food for the family. He was growing more concerned by the minute.
After speaking with the little girl’s mother, Che Milton learned that she is a stay-at-home mother because her husband ‘works in and out of town’ but doesn’t make a lot of money. Since they can’t afford to send their five children to daycare during the week, the mother needs to be at home to take care of the kids.
“I saw the conditions. There was no food in the house and the kids were there,” Milton said in an interview with CNN at the time. Instead of punishing the little girl for attempting to steal a $2.00 pair of shoes, Milton decided to take a different approach to this situation. “I have made mistakes in my life, also,” he added.
In an effort to help, Officer Milton decided to contact the Georgia Division of Family & Children Services (DFCS) ‘to find out if a social worker could assist the family with their living situation.’ He then went to a pizza shop and bought four pizzas (and two large drinks) for the family – paid for and delivered by Che!
“The way that Officer Milton handled this incident showed that not only is he here to enforce the law but also to go the extra mile and be a bigger part of the community he is policing,” the Police Department wrote on Facebook – while also posting clothing sizes for the children so others can donate to the cause.
Che Milton Accused of Excessive Force Two Years Later
Two years later, Che Milton was making headlines for a second time since joining the Atlanta Police Department. Unfortunately, he was the one in trouble this time after a man accused him of excessive force during an incident in a Buckhead bar – where Milton was asked to remove the man from the bar.
The incident went down in mid-June 2019 – two years after his viral moment with the 12-year-old girl – at the Big Sky Restaurant and Bar near Roswell Road. A video, which was shared on social media, shows Milton using what the victim describes as ‘excessive force’ – causing a flurry of mixed reactions online.
The Atlanta Police Department had no idea about the incident until a news outlet reached out to them for comment. “The investigation was self-initiated by APD’s Office of Professional Standards, based on the information you provided to us, which we are now checking out,” the department wrote back in response.
It’s unclear what came of the incident, but we do know that Che Milton was placed on administrative duty and continued to work with the department in a ‘non-law-enforcement capacity’ while they investigated the victim’s claims.
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