MUNCIE, Ind. (September 24, 2015) - A Muncie man and Indiana State Trooper shared their story with FOX59 about the moments leading up to taking a selfie that has gone viral.
The post has been shared from Greg Barnes Facebook page more than 50,000 times. Barnes said he was coming home from work on September 18 when Indiana State Police Trooper Shawn Cosgrove pulled him over for speeding.
"I knew I was speeding when officer Cosgrove pulled up behind me. I immediately knew I was in the wrong, so I started slowing down," Barnes said.
Trooper Cosgrove clocked Barnes doing 71 mph in a 55 mph zone. Barnes said he was in a hurry to get home from work because his family was moving out of their Muncie home.
What happened next is what both Barnes and Trooper Cosgrove said led up to the selfie. Both men asked each other about their days and were respectful and kind to one another.
“I was raised to show respect to everyone and being an officer of the law or someone or meet on the street, you show respect to get respect back," Barnes said.
It was that respect that landed Barnes with a warning instead of a speeding ticket. Barnes was planning to speak to young children about showing kindness. He asked Trooper Cosgrove to take a selfie with him showing a positive outcome to sometimes negative attention from traffic stops circulating around race relations among officers and civilians.
“The narrative is sometimes, aggressive black man, overzealous police officer and I hope they look at it from both sides," Barnes said.
“It shocked me, but then once I realized he was going to use it for good, and with the interaction I had with him, I truly believed he was going to use it for a good cause, I immediately said yes," Trooper Cosgrove said.
The two men never expected the picture to go viral, but are now hoping the attention can be turned into something positive.
“We’re all human. The color of our skin, the gender doesn’t matter," Trooper Cosgrove said.
"We're all the same race. The human race," Barnes added.
The two men are also using the picture's attention to help raise money for Muncie youth. A GoFundMe page was created to honor the encounter between the two men. Proceeds will benefit the Muncie Boys and Girls Club and The Roy C. Buley Community Center.