Powerful Photo of 12-Year-Old Ferguson Protester Hugging Police Officer Goes Viral
Here’s some Ferguson-related news that will warm your heart for once.
During Ferguson protests this week in Portland, Ore., freelance photographer Johnny Nguyen snapped a powerful shot of Police Sgt. Bret Barnum hugging a black 12-year-old boy Devonte Hart, who was participating in the rally.
Oregon Live first picked up the image and told the story behind it:
According to Sgt. Barnum, the interaction took place at the beginning of the rally. With emotions running high as speakers were addressing the crowd, he noticed a young man with tears in his eyes holding a “Free Hugs” sign among a group of people.
Sgt. Barnum motioned him over and the two started talking about the demonstration, school, art and life. As the conversation ended, Sgt. Barnum pointed to his sign and asked, “Do I get one of those?” The moment following his question was captured in the photo above, which shows Devonte’s eyes welling up with tears once again as he embraces the officer.
Hart’s only 12, but his backstory explains a great deal about why he acted so sweetly towards others during tumultuous times.
Check out the incredible picture below, via Nguyen’s Instagram account:
I want to thank everyone who shared my photo today!!! You guys are playing a great role in spreading the message of hope and humanity as seen here in the photo of Sgt. Barnum and Devonte Hart. I also want to thank @theoregonian for being the first to publish my photo and writing the incredible story behind it. You guys are the best. I don’t really use Twitter but now I have a reason to. Follow me on Twitter @chambersvisuals to stay updated! Tune into NBC Nightly News tonight at 6:30 EST. They’re covering the photo and story as well! Spread love, Johnny.
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