This past weekend people across the country took to the streets to protest the death of George Floyd, a black man and father living in Minnesota killed by a police officer who held him down by his neck with his knee for more than seven minutes. Outraged by the senseless death, people of all races protested police brutality across the country in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Though it was a weekend of unrest, there were lots of uplifting and hopeful moments, with protestors and the police alike coming together to close the divide all across the country.
In Queens, New York, police officers took a knee next to protestors, showing their solidarity with the movement. "The striking moment of unity comes as thousands are again taking to the streets to demand justice for George Floyd and other black people who have been killed at the hands of police," the NY1 caption reads.
In Miami, Florida, a highway patrol trooper broke a line of officers to approach a protestor on a motorbike. The trooper hugged the woman as she says, "I don't want them to get hurt. Don't hurt them no more. I love you."
In Flint, Michigan, Sheriff Chris Swanson took off his helmet and baton and asked protestors how he could help. "We want to be with y'all for real. I want to make this a parade, not a protest," Swanson told the crowd, which responded by chanting, "Walk with us."
In Houston, Texas, Police Chief Art Acevedo, who identified himself as a person of color and an immigrant, told the crowd of protestors, "We built this country," adding, "If you've got hate in your heart for people of color, get over it." He went on to assure protestors, "We will march as a department with everybody in this community. I will march until I can't stand no more. But I will not allow anyone to tear down this city, because this is our city."
The New Haven Police Department in Connecticut held a press conference to declare that the entire force is taking a stand against police brutality and called on law enforcement officials from around the country to do the same.
In Louisville, Kentucky, a chain of white women formed a barrier between black protestors and the police. In the same city, a strikingly similar viral image featured a group of black protestors forming a chain of protection around a police officer who was separated from his unit.
Meanwhile this iconic shot out of Louisville of protestors protecting a cop who got separated from his unit. pic.twitter.com/4ySpUNjGoa
Keedron Bryant, a 12-year-old black gospel singer, belted out his moving song, "I Just Want to Live," which became a rallying cry for this weekend's events. "Just singing what's on my heart...hope this blesses someone," he captioned the video posted to Instagram.