Social media post appears to show 12-year-old with cancer being bullied

Houston's pint-sized police officer, a 12-year-old battling cancer who's an honorary peace officer at over 800 agencies, is used to having all eyes on him. However, one video he's in is getting a lot of attention for all the wrong reasons.

Little DJ appears to be being bullied. The video is absolutely disheartening.

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Devarjaye Daniel's dad says there may not be any other treatment for his son's brain and spine cancer, but he says being sworn in and deputized at hundreds of law enforcement agencies is medicine for DJ's mental health.

So, when the family was returning from Vidor on Monday after DJ was once again made an honorary officer, they stopped at a Houston gas station, where a group of girls not only seemed to make fun of him being in his police uniform, putting down the one thing that brings him joy. Someone also posted it online.

"With all the outlandish laughter and kind of poking at his utility belt that he has on. The video is disturbing," says DJ's dad, Theodis Daniel.  

DJ is only 12. The girls in the footage tower over him and appear to be much older than he is, as they appear to try to shame him and pick on him.

"It's disturbing and twirking too. Is that the new way of saying hello?" Mr. Daniel asks. DJ said, "To be honest, when they're bullying me, that reminds me that I have cancer and I don't like thinking about it. I have cancer. I'm literally fighting for my life."

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Mr. Daniel says this seems to confirm, some youngsters will do things that are distasteful, even if it's picking on a 12-year-old who's battling cancer just so they can get likes on social media. 

"When they chose to monetize social media, this is the problem. When they get a million likes, they get a check in the mail, and they'll do anything."

DJ says even as it seemed the girls were trying to hurt his feelings, he was determined not to let them, and to educate them instead.

"Really and truly, I'm like a 40-year-old and I don't really have feelings like that," DJ says with a straight face, and his dad calls him "wise beyond his years."

"The only thing that people can do is just give him a hug, let him rub a few more bald heads, take a few pictures and just listen to his story, so you can get through anything that life throws at you," says Mr. Daniel. 

The 12-year-old shares a bear hug and every member of the FOX 26 staff he passes. Keeping up with his tradition, he rubs the bald head of FOX 26 Photographer Matthew Williams, who smiles and chats it up with the kiddo for several minutes.

"You know, we can turn negative stuff into positive things. (And you hope to do that in this instance also?) Yes. Upgrade yourself. Be a better person than you were three minutes ago. I'm a better version of myself than I was before I walked in here, and I'm sure going to be a lot better by the time I walk out of here. (So you hope that's what we're all doing, is being a better version of ourselves with every breath we take?) Exactly," Mr. Daniel explains.

Even as the kids seem to mock him, DJ and his dad say they patiently educated the girls and showed them DJ's story online. By the time they left that parking lot, they tell me at least some of the girls called him "Officer DJ" and said "bye" to him before they drove away.