he call came in around 5 on a tepid January night in Gainesville, Florida. Officer Bobby White was patrolling an area nearby when he heard the complaint; kids were playing basketball too loudly in street. The officer on duty for that district was on another call, so White picked it up.
Video from White's dashboard camera shows him pull onto NW 21st Street, where a couple of teenage boys were shooting a basketball on a single hoop over the street.
As his patrol car came to a stop, the boys quit playing. White got out of his car and approached them.
A scene as old and terrifying as the list of headlines that preceded it -- Trayvon Martin, Freddie Gray and others -- but what happened next did not befit the precedent.
"I knew how I wasn't going to react," White said. "I knew I wasn't going to come here and make the kids stop playing basketball."
There was no confusion. No chaos. Just more basketball.
"Can you believe someone called in a noise complaint about kids playing basketball in the street?" White asked as he approached 17-year-old Aahtrell Johnson.
Officer White quickly smiled -- "Obviously, I ain't got no problem with it."
Then he and the boys started playing together. It began small, with the two kids who were there when he originally pulled up. But as the minutes passed, more kept showing up.
There were the several from inside Tyree Thomas' house -- the hoop stood in his front yard. "My friend came in and said the police was outside," Tyree explained, "so we went outside to see what they did. Turns out they did nothing wrong."
By the time White left, there were eight kids playing. The whole event took about 10 minutes.
"Any time I have a chance, even when I'm not on active duty, to get out and interact with kids in the community, I do so," he said.
A few days after the encounter, officer Ben Tobias, the public information officer for the Gainesville Police Department, posted White's dashboard camera footage online. Since then, it has received more than 17 million views on the department's Facebook page alone.
Overnight, White became the "Basketball Cop," and the hashtag #HoopsNotCrime began to trend.
People also began donating basketballs and hoops. The Orlando Magic invited the group of boys to come to a basketball game and sent their bus to pick them up. Rock sporting apparel sent basketballs. The mayor of Gainesville invited them to his house. The Florida Gators gave them tickets to one of their games.
They've also had a few high-profile drop-ins. Shaquille O'Neal came to Gainesville after he heard the story and played basketball with the kids. The Harlem Globetrotters came to play and gave them game tickets.
"The response has been incredible," White said. He was even able to get a couple of local businesses to donate time and supplies to build a permanent basketball court in Tyree's backyard. The boys would no longer have to play in the street.
"I feel safe," Antwan Thompson said. "Like this is my home."
Police video courtesy of Gainesville Police Department