Grateful woman thanks officer who transformed traffic ticket into beautiful moment of prayer

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A short conversation with a speeding motorist changed a deputy sheriff’s mind about issuing a citation, and caused him to do something you might not expect from an officer.

He offered a prayer to the driver and passenger.

Kootenai County, Idaho, Sheriff’s Deputy Matthew Brakeman recently initiated a traffic stop, fully intending to give the driver a ticket for exceeding the speed limit.

“Driver was not happy to be stopped. So I spoke to her for a moment,” Brakeman told local CBS affiliate KREM 2 News.

Within a few minutes he could tell something was amiss. Seated in the passenger seat was an older woman.

“I asked where they were headed. And she said to the oncologist. She then started to become a little bit emotional,” Brakeman said.

WKRM reported:

He learned the driver’s mother had been battling cancer. They were on their way to another painful trip to the doctor’s office. Brakeman went back to his patrol car to collect his thoughts. He knew something more powerful than a ticket was needed here.


“And then walked back up to the passenger side and asked her mother if she would accept a prayer. And she said, “Absolutely.” So then we prayed and told them to have a good day and went back to my car,” Brakeman explained.

Although Brakeman didn’t have any contact with the woman, his act didn’t go unnoticed. The driver, RaeAnn Kuykendall posted this message of thanks on the sheriff’s department’s Facebook page:

So I made an appointment this morning for my mum at her Cancer doctor. They could fit her in but I had to hustle to get there. Okay no problem….. Until I get pulled over for going 45 in a 35. The officer that pulled me over didn’t give me a ticket but instead went over to my mums side of the car, got down to her level and gave her a beautiful prayer. Needless to say I emotionally lost it but thankful for him pulling me over at that moment and offering his kindness to us. I don’t know the officer’s name that stopped me but I want to thank him for his blessings and for hope. RaeAnn


So what prompted Brakeman to do it?

“I lost my mom to cancer, and I know the feeling,” he said. “There’s a letter of the law and there’s the spirit of the law. These particular folks, I don’t think they were violating the spirit of the law, they were violating the letter,” Brakeman explained. “I think they needed some love, and we all do.”

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Watch the clip, via KREM.


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