Get Ready To Bawl When You See How A White Cop Chose Not To Destroy A Black Man's Life. That Man Is Now An NBA Star.

Angie Aker Curator:

Let's get one thing straight — Caron Butler has accomplished what he has because he worked for it. This police officer didn't give it to him. But the fact remains, Officer Richard Geller had the power to knock Butler off his path and decided not to. THAT'S how you wield authority.

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I was a paper boy, and every morning I would get up, and you know, get my papers at 3 o'clock, bag my papers up, bag my work up, my work being cocaine. When I first started selling drugs, I was probably 12 years old.

I worked 30 years as a police officer in the city of Racine. During the 80's and 90's it was a rough time.

This is the park. This is 18th and Meade. It was like, a drive through at a major food franchise right here, just dope feigns, clientele coming through here, periodically. Guys would come through and do drive-bys, that was just like, it was a way of life. I was always nervous, I was always scared. Just waking up and your always looking over your shoulder thinking about being shot at, or seeing everyone in my inner circle die.

The drug world is just, it was different, it is very dark. Everybody is out for themselves. (third speaker)

So many boys was getting murdered, I didn't want that to happen to him.

Caron had a tough go of it to start out with it. I think he was arrested at least 15 times by the time he was 15.

You know it's funny, now I've been all over the world but, I couldn't see past this block right here. I didn't see a guy dressing nice, of my color, doing great things. I never was exposed to that. This is all I knew, and it was just,I was a lost-looking back at it I was a lost kid.

Being incarcerated and going to solitary confinement was the moment when, I was broken. 'Dear Mom, the day that you didn't come to visit me, I was in the hole for arguing with another resident.' I was crying and dropping tears and writing letters, you know, very very emotional letters to my family. Just telling them what I wanted to become one day. 'I would be in my cell for 23 hours a day thinking and talking and looking out the window.' Everything changed, like my whole thought process started beginning to change because I was isolated from the population and I was just more to myself, and I learned that I have to have a will, I have to be dedicated to what I want to do to be better. I'm blessed with my family, and happy that things happened the way that they did, so I could realize what I was loosing.

And when I got out, I was just trying to do any and everything that I possibly can to be on the right path.

When he did get out, he worked, he got a job at Burger King.

My friends were still doing the things they were doing and once I got out I didn't go back in. I had different plans. And they clowned me, they came to burger king and laughed at me working and in the uniform and everything, but I just stayed with it.

And so I knew then that he wasn't going to get in trouble any more because he learned his lesson.

On January 22, I drafted a search warrant for Caron's home at the time.

I heard the boom boom, and I looked out at the window and I saw that it was the tag force members everywhere. I think I was a year and a half removed from anything negative, I was doing nothing but good, and I just covered myself up because I knew they were coming upstairs. They came up, threw the cover off of me, and handcuffed me.

And I basically said the word is there is dope that is coming out of this house, and I think his response at the time was "I am not messing with dope right now." The rest of my team started searching, and at one point in the garage we located 15.3 grams of crack cocaine.

They did find narcotics in the garage, was not mine. I know what usually happens in situations like that. I had an uncle that went down for a situation that he wasn't responsible for. So I was worried, I really was to say the least.

You know, if Caron would had been charged that night, he would have been looking at I think a minimum of 10 years in prison. Any time we execute a search warrant, we take photographs of all of the individuals inside of a house. I could tell he was just in disbelief that all of this was happening. I had a conversation with my immediate supervisor who said "you've got enough, charge him" and I said to my lieutenant, "I don't think this kid had any idea that this dope was here, and I think to charge him would be a huge mistake." And the lieutenant's response was, "If you think it would be a huge mistake, then we don't do it."

They came back and he just uncuffed me. He said "I hope I'm not making a mistake." And that was it.

And he said "I'm the officer that made it possible for you and your family to be OK. And I was like, "Man, I never met you." And he told me the story behind of it, and he had a decision to make that could have changed the whole landscape of everything right now. So I am extremely grateful to him for that.

Well after that day we communicated on a regular basis.

During the course of the season, if I'm playing good or if I'm having bad moments, he is always texting, calling, he is always watching over me, I know that.

16 years ago you had a very, very scared kid. Now 16 years later you have a star in the NBA, and off the court just never forgot where he came from as far as doing for people less fortunate. I mean, the good that has come out of one small decision that I made is just, there's times where I can't even fathom it.

My agent asked me how would you like to be finishing your career where it all started pretty much. I said that would be special.

My son got a hold of me and said there is talk that Caron could be coming to Milwaukee, and I thought he was kidding me at first, because it's a running joke that my idea of an early Christmas would be Caron Butler playing for the Milwaukee Bucks.

Good afternoon. Boy, it's great to be here, we're so excited to have Caron Butler join our team and our organization.

You know I've been through a lot of adversity throughout my life. I've been a kid and a young man that has always been told what I couldn't accomplish. I always wanted to prove other people wrong and be a good example for the kids that watch me, my children, children in my family, because the examples that I had and the role models I had, were people running in the streets doing different things. And it's real rewarding and it's real self gratifying to see people say, "I look up to you," "because you did that I feel I can do this," so that's special to me and it means a lot. I couldn't look those people in the face and be a failure, so I just kept striving and moving forward and made something of myself. This is a dream come true, and I never thought it could happen so it's special. So thank you.

There may be small errors in this transcript.

From Fox Sports Live. Here's a link to the Cops 'n Kids program Caron Butler sponsors for his hometown.

Aug 25, 2014

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