8-year-old afraid of law enforcement forms unexpected friendship with Kershaw County deputy

Updated: Sep. 7, 2020 at 11:20 PM EDT
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KERSHAW COUNTY, S.C. (WIS) - An 8-year-old Lugoff resident who told his mom he was afraid of law enforcement has formed an unexpected friendship this week with a Kershaw County Deputy.

Ashton Williamson said her heart broke last week when her son, Gavin Williamson, said he was afraid to get pulled over by police. However, Williamson said she was determined to change that fear and with the help of one Kershaw County deputy, she did just that.

“I felt kind of scared, nervous, I was afraid,” Gavin Williamson said when he thought about the way he felt towards law enforcement before meeting Kershaw County Deputy Kerry Shelton last week.

“He said mommy I don’t want to get stopped because I’m scared I’m going to get shot,” Ashton Williamson said.

Williamson said they were driving in the car at the time. She said she told herself that the next police or deputy’s cruiser they drove by, she was going to pull over and have Gavin speak to the officer.

“To make sure that whenever he does get to the point of getting pulled over that he doesn’t have to be fearful,” Williamson said. “I can’t control what other officers do as he gets older, but I can start to make a difference now.”

Deputy Shelton said when Williamson came over to his car and told him the story, he immediately stopped what he was doing to have an important conversation.

“She told me the whole story about him being scared and she wants him to know that not all cops are bad cops, we have a lot of good cops, and I thought that was cool that she did that,” Deputy Shelton said.

Deputy Shelton said that’s when a new friendship formed.

“We got to talking about food, and he offered me his rice and it melted my heart, so I asked if I could give him a hug,” Deputy Shelton said.

“From that point on he’s made it his duty to check on Gavin, converse with us, just make sure we are good,” Williamson said.

Gavin said he now sees law enforcement in a different light and that Deputy Shelton taught him about bravery.

“A good cop because he protects people,” Gavin said.

Gavin and his mom said that only does Gavin has a new friend, but also a new dream job.

“Now he says he wants to be a cop when he gets older,” Williamson said.

The same type of cop as Deputy Shelton.

“A good cop!” Gavin said.

Williamson said she hopes more people will spend a few minutes talking to local law enforcement officers and opening up the conversation for positive change. Deputy Shelton said if anyone wants to speak with a law enforcement officer, they can call or stop by the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Department.

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