Atlantic City, New Jersey, honored the good Samaritan who brought peace to two fighting teens in a video that has received more than 31 million views.
Ibn Ali Miller, 26, teared up as he made remarks during an event on Wednesday night in which he and the two teens, 15-year-old Jamar Mobley and 18-year-old Sheldon Ward, were recognized. Ali used the moment to thank his mom for raising him to be the man that he is now.
“When I was young I grew up in the projects,” Miller said, holding the resolution the City Council presented to him. “When I would get on punishment she would make me read books ... I’m crying because this whole situation deeply saddens me. The fact that it’s unbelievable. This should be very believable. This should be a norm and it should be regular.”
Miller called the teens up and praised them for showing unity, something he said the adults in their community have a problem doing. He also thanked the boys’ parents for raising them “to be young men of reason.”
In a Wednesday interview with Time, the married father of six said that he stepped in “because it was the right thing to do.” He noticed the crowd of teens while running errands in his car. Miller, who intervened without a second thought, credited his Muslim upbringing for giving him the wisdom to see stepping in was what he “was supposed to do, what [he] was raised to do.”
“Those kids didn’t look like predators to me. To me, I saw my own kids. I didn’t see predators,” he said.
Jamar thanked Miller on Wednesday, according to CBS Philly. He told the outlet that he feared the outcome could have been ugly had Miller not intervened. The straight-A student told NBC 10 that Miller made him think about a lot of things.
“The one thing he said that got through to me was that, he explained that all my friends, who I thought were my friends, all of them just wanted to see a fight,” Jamar said.
Miller told Fox 29 that he hopes people who see his actions will learn how to deal with young people on a more personal level: “They don’t need basketball. They don’t need dances. They don’t need programs to teach them how to do a back flip. They need character building.”
Watch the original video below.
The video contains language that may be offensive to some readers.