Justice, mercy, and the opportunity for redemption still do exist, and one man in the United Kingdom has the video to prove it.
Winston Davis — a heating "engineer" and the chairman of Southside Young Leaders Academy, a charity helping young African and Afro-Caribbean boys become leaders — spent six weeks this summer tracking down the person who mugged his 12-year-old nephew at knifepoint in London Colney while the kid was on his way to buy a candy bar.
By reviewing CCTV video and canvassing the area, Davis was able to spot and confront the suspect. However, rather than the adult he presumed he'd met, Davis instead found himself face to face with a "frightened boy," an unidentified 16-year-old who agreed to meet up with Davis and his nephew again to return the bag he'd stolen in the incident.
The young man was true to his word. He returned with the bag and offered his hand and an apology to Davis's 12-year-old nephew.
Davis filmed the meeting and shared it on Instagram and TikTok.
"The fact that you brought the bag back," Davis told the teen, "that says a lot about you."
Davis told reporters that he could tell there was "something in [the teenager] that wants to go on and do good," despite difficult circumstances. During the meeting, Davis learned that the young man had no education or job, and that he had no parents to guide him.
"Sometimes children are so traumatized from what they’ve been through as young children that it’s really hard for them to have any connection or belief that they can do anything other than what they’ve been exposed to at such a young age," Davis stated.
Though Davis made sure that the young man understood that his previous behavior was unacceptable and that he shouldn't ever do it again, Davis then began reaching out to those in his social circles and on social media to connect the teen with job and educational opportunities.
"[H]e wants to work in computer engineering… this kid doesn’t need punishment, he needs help…" the message on the Instagram post reads, "if there is anyone that knows about career routes/training programs for him, please drop me a dm."
The response was overwhelming.
"He’s got an opportunity to really, if he takes the opportunities that are presented to him, to really change his life," Davis said. "It’s just, can he see far enough into the future? To be able to take advantage of the good nature and goodwill of so many people?"
London Colney is a village and civil parish about an hour north of London. It is located about 15 minutes from Davis's town of Watford, where, according to the Instagram post, he raises his nephew as his own son.