Facebook user Steven Hildreth, Jr. became an overnight sensation when he shared a post about his experience with the Tucson Police Department Tuesday night. He wrote he was pulled over, had a firearm, and the officer reacted with “professionalism” upon discovering he had a loaded gun. By Friday morning, the post was been shared more than 500,000 times.

Hildreth began his tale by writing he was driving to turn in some paperwork. Then he saw a TPD squad vehicle. “The lights go on and I pull over,” he wrote. “The officer asks me how I'm doing, and then asks if I have any weapons.”

Hildreth was carrying a gun, but he also had a permit for it. “The officer explains for his safety and mine, he needs to disarm me for the stop. I understand, and unlock the vehicle,” he wrote. “ He also sees my military ID and I tell him I'm with the National Guard.”

The Facebook user said he was pulled over for a having a broken headlight, but was let go with a verbal warning because he was so cooperative. “I'm a black man wearing a hoodie and strapped. According to certain social movements, I shouldn't be alive right now because the police are allegedly out to kill minorities,” Hildreth wrote. “Maybe if you treat police officers with respect, they will do the same to you.”

He finished the post by using the hashtags #BlueLivesMatter and #AllLivesMatter. “We talk so much about the bad apples who shouldn't be wearing a badge. I'd like to spread the word about an example of men who earned their badges and exemplify what that badge stands for,” the veteran said. 

The Facebook user describes himself as an “author, veteran, occasional essayist, and firearms enthusiast.” His books, “The Sovereigns” and “The First Bayonet” are for sale on Amazon.

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