The shooting of Michael Brown in the suburbs of St. Louis in Ferguson, Missouri sparked protests in the community for more than a week. While the tension was getting stronger, volunteers stepped up to help those in need by giving out food, water, diapers and other supplies in Canfield and showed the value of solidarity amidst chaos.
Because classes were suspended, parents are keeping the students occupied in the library and held forums and discussions. Volunteers are helping protesters hit with tear gas and setting up free food station as they grilled more than 300 hotdogs for protesters and police.
Some are into cleaning up the community while others of the police officers are giving out hugs and kisses to some protesters to ease out the violence.
One such hug captured the attention of the media and the world. A hug maybe a brief and short gesture, but in the wake of Ferguson protests it is more important than ever to see a police officer reacting to protesters as a caring member of the community. The simple but touching act of a white police officer and a black teenage protestor helped ease the tension during the protest.
The police officer in the picture was Sgt. Bret Barnum of Portland Police and the young boy was Devonte Hart. According to Hart’s mother, Devonte was in tears struggling to comprehend the violence around him. The teenage boy was carrying a sign that read “Free Hugs.” He was doing what he thought can help stop the violence in his town. It was then that a police officer approached Hart and extended his hand for a handshake. At first, the interaction between the two was awkward. The officer started asking the boy about his studies and his hobbies. When the officer asked Hart why he was crying, his answer was his concern about the police brutality about young black kids. The officer asked if he could have one of his free hugs.
The effort that the officer showed, help make people realize that they are there to help not to hurt. The touching photo was dubbed “The Hug Shared Around the World” shows how love and care for one another can help eliminate racial tensions and violence in the world.
The chaos might have captured the eyes of the world but the random acts of kindness shown by the people in Ferguson captures the heart of everyone who still believed in good will and the inner beauty of mankind.
Here’s a news report about the picture that touched many people around the world: