For several years, an ex-convict and the police officer who arrested him have spotted each other around a Texas town but managed to keep their distance from one another. Eventually, the ex-con spotted the cop at a barbecue cook-off, but this time, he couldn’t just walk away.
Senior Patrolman Salvador “Sal” Chapa arrested Doc Amey on a gun charge about 8 years prior, which led to a conviction and prison time. Chapa said that ever since Amey was released from prison, the two have occasionally seen each other around town but never spoke. However, that all changed.
Officer Chapa was at a barbecue cook-off with friends and co-workers when Amey, who is a six-time convicted felon, spotted him from a distance and approached. The scene that would follow has been connecting with people across social media. “I have not always been a friend to the police,” Amey said. “I grew up selling drugs. I’ve been to prison three times.”
Doc Amey didn’t confront Officer Chapa to berate him, disrespect him, or otherwise do anything with ill intentions. While he was in prison, the former criminal found God and began to study the Bible, ultimately dedicating himself to the Lord, and it was time to repay Chapa for the officer’s role in turning his life around.
Amey approached without warning, said “thank you,” grabbed the Texas City officer’s hands, and began to pray for his safety while in the line of duty. Together, the two men recited the officer’s prayer for safety. “God just been giving me the urgency to pray for police officers, the same police officers that arrested me. I just got an urgency to pray for them now,” Amey said.
Kevin Woods took notice of the rare moment and snapped a photo, then he posted it on Facebook. “I got to watch something so amazing I’m speechless,” Kevin wrote. “We should be seeing more of this in America. There shouldn’t be race involved, and this is living proof that color doesn’t matter. This is a prime example. All lives matter. ONE NATION UNDER GOD!”
Amey realized that he needed to change his life while serving a five-year prison sentence on a gun charge. “One day, a cold December morning, I just looked up: I said, ‘God if you real, like everybody say you real, you’ll get me out of this,’” Amey recalled. God answered his prayer, and he was paroled after serving only a year and a half.
Officer Chapa has been humbled by the show of support, especially at a time when so many people are critical of law enforcement. “Touched my heart. It touched my heart. The reason it did, it sounds like I’ve touched his heart and made a difference in his life,” he said.
Chapa expressed nothing but gratefulness to Amey for praying with him and to everyone who’s supported the two with their reactions. It’s good to see that Amey recognized how Chapa ended up helping him, then prayed that the officer stays safe while at work. This is how you truly create peace and unity within our communities.
“After seeing the picture getting posted and all, I was overwhelmed but at the same time I was happy it happened,” Officer Chapa said, according to ABC13. “I hope whoever views it looks at police in a different aspect. We’re here to help everybody,” he concluded.
Doc Amey says he has been completely transformed. He plans to never again be messing around with illegal drugs or guns. “You gotta be the change you want to see,” Amey said. That change has helped spark an unlikely friendship between an ex-convict and a police officer, a friendship forged by good overcoming evil with some help from God.