Last Saturday, African-American protesters and different white-supremacist groups clashed in Columbia, S.C. The tension between the two opposing groups was so high after the states decision to take down the divisive battle flag from the Statehouse grounds that it resulted to five arrests. Because of the riots, seven people were also injured and taken to nearby hospitals.
The arrests involved disorderly conduct, simple assault, and breach of peace. Aside from the 7 injured, there were also 23 people who needed medical attention, with most of them suffering from heat-related ailments. There were no hurt police officers during the rally according to a public safety spokeswoman.
This was stated in a public statement:
“We want to thank the multiple law enforcement agencies involved today for an excellent response and for assistance in keeping protesters and those on the grounds safe during the rallies.”
The protests erupted a week after the decision of the state to take down the Confederate flag. The state made the decision to address the mass shooting in Charleston, S.C. – where 9 African American people where shot inside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.
The shooter was 21-year-old Dylan Roof. He was driving a vehicle that had a picture of the Confederate flag stamped on his license plate. Following his arrest, pictures of Roof wearing and waving the flag have surfaced online.
One image of the riots became viral. However, it was not a picture of violence, but a moving image of an African American police officer helping a man wearing a T-shirt with a swastika. The man was said to be suffering from heatstroke.
According to reports, the weather during that day hit 98 degrees in Columbia. The picture showed Officer Leroy Smith helping an unidentified white male protester walk up the stairs to get out of the scorching sun.
The man, whom the police officer was helping in the photo, is wearing a shirt promoting the National Socialist Movement Party, a neo-Nazi group based out of Detroit.
The photo, which quickly became viral in the Internet, was posted on Twitter by Rob Godfrey, the deputy chief of staff of South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.
Godfrey captioned the photo with these words: “Not an uncommon example of humanity in SC. Leroy Smith helps white supremacist to shelter & water as heat bears down.”
The image has already been retweeted nearly 3,000 times.
Here are some of the Internet reactions to the photo:
Read another humanity story here: 35 Photos Guaranteed to Restore Your Faith in Humanity