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Video of dancing police officer goes viral

CEDAR RAPIDS (KCRG) - While public/police relations are tense in many parts of the country, in Cedar Rapids, one officer has made thousands smile by dancing.

And it was all caught on video.

Sunday, Cedar Rapids police officer T.J. Richardson wa s attempting the “Nae Nae” while on foot patrol at a Stop the Violence rally in Redmond Park.

Jesse Krieger was there. He hit record and captured Richardson dancing with a group of kids.

Krieger said it was his wife Audra, a fellow DJ, who talked Richardson into showing off what he could do.

“She pretty much just said, ‘Hey, would you dance with the kids,’ and started the music,” he said. “I turned around and grabbed my phone and started recording.”

The video exploded locally on social media. Since Jesse posted it Sunday, the video has received 2,300 likes, 5,800 shares and more than 285,000 views.

Dancing officer videos are getting a lot of views these days. One from North Carolina shows an officer dancing with a large group of people at a block party. It received nearly 8 million views.

Local police think they know why. At a time when officer/public relations are rough nationwide, these videos ease tensions.

“It’s a message that needs to be put out for the children and the rest of the community, that cops are people,” said Cedar Rapids Police Chief Wayne Jerman. “We like to have fun too. I think that’s what officer Richardson was doing, was having some fun.”

For those at the rally Sunday, and perhaps those watching the video, the message was received.

“Officer Richardson is human, just like we are,” said Audra. “Yes, he’s in uniform. Yes, he’s in a patrol car. But, at the end of the day, he bleeds the same blood we do.”

Officer Richardson was unavailable for an interview, Tuesday. In a quick statement to KCRG-TV9 he said, “I am glad that people are enjoying the video. But, I really hope the attention is focused on community members who step up and organize Stop the Violence and supporting youth efforts.”

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