Fort Smith police officer pays for shoplifting suspect’s groceries

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FORT SMITH, Ark. (KNWA) — A Fort Smith police officer paid for the groceries of a suspected shoplifter at a Walmart in the city last November, according to a Facebook post from City Director Neal Martin.

The city director recognized Field Training Officer Kenneth Martin’s act of kindness with the January Employee of the Month award.

Neal Martin said that on November 30, 2019, he was shopping in a local Walmart when he saw loss prevention officers stop a man and woman suspected of shoplifting. The pair were accompanied by two children.

In body camera footage recently released by the Fort Smith Police Department, Officer Kenneth Martin is shown paying for the couple’s stolen items.

“They’re stealing food, and they’ve got kids,” Martin says in the video. “I have to take him to jail, but I don’t have to make the kids think I’m an a******.”

The man was taken into police custody, but the woman and children were allowed to leave after Martin handed over the groceries.

“I took care of these for you, ok?” the officer tells her. “I understand this is food and things that you need, but ask for some help. Don’t do this with these babies.”

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