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Gone viral: The tearful hug across racial divides

Instagram | @chambersvisuals
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.

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.


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