Kids’ positive interaction with officer breaks their negative perception of police

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Sometimes, it's the smallest acts that make the biggest difference. One Kansas City family says they learned that first hand.

They were taking an afternoon walk north of the Missouri River when a police officer stopped them in their tracks. The officer pulled to the side of the road in an unmarked car, but what came next is something the family of four never expected.

"I was scared we might be in trouble," 10-year-old Aaliyah Pell said.

Pell was walking along a road in Kansas City north with her little brother and parents, when a red Impala pulled in front of them.

"He pulls over and he was like, 'hey, do you mind if I talk to you guys for a little bit?' I just want to talk to the kids for a little bit.' I'm like, 'sure!'" mom Latissha Vickers said.

Officer Ray Orth got out of his car. He introduced himself to Aaliyah and her brother, and the kids nervously sparked up conversation.

"He talked to us and talked to my mother and told us that some police officers are nice and we don't have to be scared," Pell said.

With the tension built up between police and communities across the country, Aaliyah and her brother had a perception of what they thought police were like.

"Some police officers are mean," Pell's seven-year-old brother Azavion Vickers said.

"I used to think the police officers were kinda strict," Pell said.

But one small act, a quick conversation with strangers has changed how these eyes view law enforcement.

"He was gentle," Azavion said.

"I was feeling like he was one of those police officers that actually cared about people," Pell said.

Before leaving Officer Orth gave Aaliyah a bracelet and her brother a ball.

"I really enjoyed it. I appreciated it. I was like can I take a picture of you?" Vickers said.

She posted it on Facebook and it now has hundreds of likes. A small act that has impacted these kids and a story that has sparked conversations in a community. Something these two can't wait to tell their friends about.

"I'll tell them that they shouldn't be worried about police officers and they should just be kind to them."

Officer Orth is an officer with the Lawson Police Department. He says he was on his way to work when he spotted the family. Officer Orth told FOX 4's Megan Brilley he believes those random conversations with strangers is what will spark real change.

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