They call him the Gentle Giant. Now, a special relationship between the homeless man and a local police officer is getting the attention of some big names.
Zone 3 is one of the busiest precincts for the Atlanta Police Department, but Channel 2’s Dave Huddleston found it also has some officers who specialize in not only protecting the public, but serving the public.
“Ever since I’ve been here, I’ve known Jimmy,” said Atlanta police Officer Mason Mecure.
Mecure told Huddleston that his friendship with Jimmy James Brown, 52, has spanned 10 years.
“He cares a lot about me. He comes and checks on me,” Brown said.
During all the time Officer Mecure has known him, Brown, who has mental problems, has also been homeless, living next to an auto parts store on Pryor Road and University Avenue in southwest Atlanta.
“He’s never been a problem. He’s always been super nice to police and everyone around here,” Mecure said.
And Brown is huge.
“He’s super massive, 6 (feet) 11 (inches), 275 (pounds). It’s hard to give someone like that the clothes off your back or the shoes off your feet,” Mecure told Huddleston.
But that’s exactly what happened after Mecure asked people on Facebook to help Brown.
Word got to the Atlanta Hawks basketball team and former greats Dekembe Mutombo and Shaquille O’Neill.
“Shaq actually called my cellphone and said, ‘I have some shoes for you to come pick them up,’” Mecure said.
Brown now has some new shoes — size 22.
Mutombo also gave Brown bins of dress clothes and shoes.
“He can look like an athlete out here or a pastor after today,” Mecure said.
Mecure and Brown’s friendship is now stronger than ever.
“I appreciate the Lord and appreciate him and everyone else for the donations,” Brown said.
The auto parts store will hold Brown’s clothes for safekeeping. The Police Department is also working to get Brown into an apartment.