Tags: officer | protester | hug | ferguson

Officer's Protester Hug Captures a Poignant Moment in Ferguson

By    |   Monday, 01 Dec 2014 10:00 AM

A quick snap of a hug between a police officer and a protestor went viral online last week in a photo that many say captures a rare poignant moment in the middle of the chaos surrounding the Ferguson riots.

Freelance photographer Johnny Nguyen took the picture of Sgt. Bret Barnum embracing 12-year-old Devonte Hart, tears streaming down the boy's face, at Tuesday's Ferguson rally in Portland. First published by The Oregonian newspaper, the image quickly took off, amassing some 1 million views and more than 150,000 shares on Facebook.


But it's the story behind the photo that is even more touching. Hart, who was born addicted to drugs and spent his first few years in an abusive environment, attended the rally with his parents, a same-sex couple who adopted the boy and his two siblings seven years ago. Hart showed up at the rally with a sign reading "Free Hugs!"

Jen Hart, the boy's adopted mother, detailed her son's interaction with the officer in a Facebook post cited by The Oregonian.

"[Barnum] asked Devonte why he was crying. His response about his concerns regarding the level of police brutality towards young black kids was met with an unexpected and seemingly authentic (to Devonte), 'Yes. *sigh* I know. I'm sorry. I'm sorry.' The officer then asked if he could have one of his hugs."

The story struck a nerve on social media, especially with Twitter users.




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A quick snap of a hug between a police officer and a protestor went viral online last week in a photo that many say captures a rare poignant moment in the middle of the chaos surrounding the Ferguson riots.
officer, protester, hug, ferguson
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2014-00-01
Monday, 01 Dec 2014 10:00 AM
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