Gone viral: The tearful hug across racial divides
Instagram | @chambersvisuals
November 30, 2014 /Photography News/ A 12-year-old black boy, tears streaming down his face, and a white police officer embrace in the middle of a Ferguson-related demonstration in Portland, Oregon. This is the picture we needed to see after a week of Ferguson-related riots and protests across the USA.
The boy, Devonte Hart, was holding a sign offering “Free Hugs” during a Tuesday protest over a grand jury’s decision not to indict Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson in the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. Portland police Sgt. Bret Barnum approached Devonte, pointed to the sign and asked “Do I get one of those?” A question Hart answered with a tearful hug.
Fortunately for those of us who need to have our faith in humanity restored on occasion, freelance photographer Jonny Nguyen was there with his camera.
More than 150,000 Facebook users shared the image hours after The Oregonian newspaper posted it on its website.
This is not the first time Hart has brought positive spirit to a tough situation. For those looking for more back story, his adopted mother, Jen Hart, shares their story at the blog Paper Trail.