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Published:November 29th, 2014 16:22 EST

Ferguson: Photo of Black Boy Hugging White Cop Will Melt Your Heart: Video

By Robert Paul Reyes

"Amid a Ferguson rally in Portland, Ore. a freelance photographer was able to capture a powerful image of a young African-American boy hugging a police officer.


Devonte Hart, 12, stood at the rally with tears streaming down his face and a `free hugs` sign in his hands on Tuesday.

Noticing the tears and the sign, Portland Police Sgt. Bret Barnum approached Hart and after exchanging a few words about police brutality toward black youths Barnum offered Hart an apology and asked for one of the free hugs, Hart`s mother said. "

Orlando Sentinel

The lasting images of the Ferguson protests have been of violence and mayhem: Rioters setting building and police cruisers on fire, Demonstrators hurling rocks and bottles at police, Protestors looting liquor stores  ...

Violence bets more violence. When average Americans witness the chaos and devastation unleashed by demonstrators, they aren`t going to be motivated to donate to the NAACP or to demand that police departments be investigated for possible civil rights violations.

As a writer when I witness the wanton destruction in Ferguson, Oakland and other cities, I`m not inspired to write editorials taking the point of view of the protestors.

But the photograph of 12-year-old black boy hugging the white officer has deeply touched my heart. I still think justice prevailed when the grand jury decided not to indict Officer Darren Wilson, but the photo has caused me to examine my heart. Am I doing enough as a person and a writer to strive for racial equality?

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