An East Bay man raised to hate police has a whole new outlook on law enforcement.
Desperate to feed his family, Trumaine Daniels said he was planning to commit more crimes. Instead, the 35-year-old Richmond man turned to the police for help and his decision is paying off.
"All my life, I always said, '[expletive] the police,' but here I am today and look who’s helping me," he said.
A father-of-four who has been in an out of jail since he was 12 years old, Daniels never imagined being on friendly terms with the police.
"I started selling drugs at nine years old," he said. "I've seen my dad and everybody else – they [were] selling drugs."
Daniels says he has been trying to turn his life around, but without work, money or a home, he found himself on the verge of committing a crime last week. He planned to steal food from a CVS store to feed his family.
"I was going to walk in and grab it, and walk out, hop in my car and drive off – those were my intentions," he admitted.
However, he decided to drive to the Richmond Police Department, where he flagged down officer Brian Lande.
"Mr. Daniels explained to me he needed help," Lande said. "He became tearful and told me he was hungry, he was living in his car and didn't know what to do."
Daniels has since been bowled over by the fact that officers have dug into their own pockets to offer him food, help him rent a motel room and start getting back on his feet.
"He came here for help," Richmond officer Terry Thomas said. "That's what we're doing is helping him out."
Armed with a new outlook on police and, with their support, renewed hope for the future, Daniels, who is trained in construction work, hopes to find a job soon.
"They're my angels in disguise," he said. "They’re like the blessing I've been waiting for that I didn't know [was] there."