Sheena Davenport, 18, and her fiancé, Logan McPherson, had only five dollars to their names one year ago. Davenport had never been in serious trouble before, but the pressure to feed the couple’s 17-month-old daughter, Skylar, led her to commit a crime.
At the time when funds were at an all-time-low for the family, Davenport had limited options. She became pregnant as a teenager and dropped out of high school.
She was unemployed without a high school diploma or GED. Davenport was hit with the reality that her employment opportunities were severely limited without a GED.
McPherson lost his job after the family relocated from Georgia to Dothan, Alabama for his work. Though they explored their options for receiving help from food banks and other resources, food was still running out.
Suddenly, it hit her that there wasn’t enough food in the house to feed the baby, or themselves. With that despair she went to Walmart and stole just enough food to feed her family for a few days.
She was caught, arrested and charged. She eventually ended up pleading guilty to theft in the fourth degree. Dothan Police Officer Katrina Culbreath was sitting next to the teen mother in the courtroom.
Culbreath emphatically listened to Davenport describe her motivation for stealing. Though Culbreath had never personally shoplifted, she could relate to the struggle of trying to feed one’s family.
The officer told Davenport to follow her car when the two met outside the station upon Culbreath’s request. Davenport was confused, but complied.
Culbreath pulled into the parking lot of a grocery store with the intention of buying the family diapers and groceries. She quietly spent $139 on the family, though it was Davenport who later revealed the officer’s act of kindness including the dollar amount publicly.
Culbreath told the Dothan Eagle, “I wanted her to know I knew how she felt, but nothing is [ever] worth stealing. I made it clear that day if she ever needed any food or clothes not to steal, find me. I will help you as much as I can. If I can’t, I will help her find someone who will.”
Not only did the officer buy food for the family, but she helped Davenport find resources to help her get her GED. It was one of the lowest moments of Davenport’s life last year, but Culbreath’s kindness and encouragement has helped Davenport realize she could have a bright future ahead.
These are the things cops all over America do every day, because they’re people just like anyone else. They have empathy for the people they serve. Sure, there are a few bad eggs, but for the most part, cops are the best thing in our communities for helping out. They have the sources and resources to help and whenever a cop sees someone truly deserving of a second chance, dollars to donuts (pun intended) they’re going to help wherever they can.