Two Jonesboro police officers helped pay for a family’s car insurance and lunch after a traffic stop Tuesday.
Photo: Jonesboro Police Department
Photo: Jonesboro Police Department

‘They needed it’: Jonesboro officer pays for homeless family’s car insurance

A Jonesboro police officer pulled over a van for having no insurance. 

But after she found out the family inside was homeless, she decided not to write a citation. Instead, she wrote a check and paid for their car insurance.

Officer Frances Spencer told that Rayshell and Joe Blakney, along with four of their six young children, were driving Tuesday on Tara Boulevard to their last night at a local motel before resorting to living out of their van. Their two oldest kids were in school at the time.

After Spencer and Officer Brian Waters tried to reach Rayshell Blakney’s family members to see if they could assist with insurance, Spencer said she took matters into her own hands.

“I knew they needed it,” Spencer said. “There was nobody else to do it, and to have the four kids with them — I just couldn’t put them out of their car since that was going to be their shelter soon.”

Spencer said a friend of hers set up a GoFundMe page to help the family of eight find stable housing. As of Friday afternoon, it had raised more than $3,800. According to the fundraising page, Joe Blakney is a Marine veteran with a full-time job.

Spencer also said they’re collecting donations for the family and have been able to get them a hotel room for the next week. 

“They were extremely appreciative,” Spencer said. “She began crying, and he had tears in his eyes. They were so surprised.”

To cap off the generous traffic stop, Waters bought the family lunch. 

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