(Updated Monday morning with NYT interview of the homeless man.)
Some stories break. Others, as legendary editor Gene Roberts famously observed, ooze. The story of a New York City police officer's kindness to a homeless man broke last week, went viral on social media and attracted widespread coverage from the established media. It began oozing on Friday.
[<a href="//storify.com/bmitch/next-chapter-in-story-of-cop-boots-and-barefoot-ma" target="_blank">View the story "Next chapter in story of cop, boots and barefoot man" on Storify</a>]<br /> <h1>Next chapter in story of cop, boots and barefoot man</h1> <h2>Some stories break. Others, as legendary editor Gene Roberts famously observed, ooze. The story of a New York City police officer's kindness to a homeless man broke last week, went viral on social media and attracted widespread coverage from the established media. It began oozing on Friday.</h2> <p>Storified by Bill Mitchell &middot; Sun, Dec 02 2012 03:37:38</p> <div>I was prompted to check back in on this story by <a href="http://livex.poynter.org/latest-news/making-sense-of-news/196737/how-a-photo-of-nypd-officer-helping-homeless-man-spread/#comment-725272783" class="">a skeptical comment</a> attached early this morning to my <a href="http://livex.poynter.org/latest-news/making-sense-of-news/196737/how-a-photo-of-nypd-officer-helping-homeless-man-spread/" class="">tracking of the first 24 hours in the tale</a> of Arizona tourist Jennifer Foster's cell phone photo of officer Lawrence DePrimo providing new boots to a barefoot man near Times Square. The comment underlines the importance of an important stage in the process I refer to as <a href="http://livex.poynter.org/latest-news/business-news/newspay/96484/story-of-nedas-death-reveals-7-elements-of-next-step-journalism/" class="">Next Step Journalism</a>: verification. The comment links to the first report I've seen attaching a name to the boots' recipient. In a story published Friday, the New York Daily News identified him as 54 year-old Jeffery Hillman.</div> <div>NYPD Officer Larry DePrimo, who gave homeless man a pair of boots, shares 'once in lifetime' momentNBC NewsWire/Peter Kramer/NBC Pictured: (l-r) Jennifer Foster, Larry Deprimo and Savannah Guthrie appear on NBC News' &quot;Today&quot; show The ki...</div> <div>But it wasn't until Sunday that the New York Post shifted the focus from the officer to Hillman. The Post's headline is a bit of a stretch ("Shoe tale comes as a sock"), but its lead is a classic: "They were clueless he was shoeless."</div> <div>Shoe tale comes as a sockThey were clueless he was shoeless. The family of the homeless man aided by a selfless cop in Times Square was shocked to find out yester...</div> <div>It wasn't the tabs but <a href="https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=388162557927199&amp;set=a.274991665910956.65258.262068223869967&amp;type=1" class="">the police department's Facebook page</a> that gave the story its initial traction. The New York Times appeared to be the first established media outlet to <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/29/nyregion/photo-of-officer-giving-boots-to-barefoot-man-warms-hearts-online.html" class="">break the story on Thursday</a>. In a <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/30/nyregion/new-york-officer-lauded-for-giving-boots-to-barefoot-man.html?_r=0" class="">story published Friday</a>&nbsp;in its New York edition, the Times described encounters that others reporting having with the man, including at least one woman who said she also bought him a pair of shoes. But I could find nothing in the Times in my driveway Sunday morning nor in the paper's online edition -- at least as of 6 a.m. -- indicating that the paper had caught up with this next chapter. To be continued, I'm sure.&nbsp;</div>