White cop, black boy hug at Portland rally for Ferguson: story behind striking photo


This striking photo by Portland-based photographer Johnny Nguyen is one of the most memorable to emerge from protests around the country supporting the rights of black people not to be shot dead by police.

In the image, Portland Police Sgt. Bret Barnum hugs 12-year-old Devonte Hart during the Ferguson demonstration in Portland earlier this week.

Reports The Oregonian, where you can see the image full-size:

According to Sgt. Barnum, the interaction took place at the beginning of the rally. With emotions running high as speakers were addressing the crowd, he noticed a young man with tears in his eyes holding a "Free Hugs" sign among a group of people.

Sgt. Barnum motioned him over and the two started talking about the demonstration, school, art and life. As the conversation ended, Sgt. Barnum pointed to his sign and asked, "Do I get one of those?" The moment following his question was captured in the photo above, which shows Devonte's eyes welling up with tears once again as he embraces the officer.

Don't miss this related profile of young "Free Hugs" Devonte. The kid is a survivor, and so full of love. Wow.

See more of Nguyen's photos here.

[via craignewman]