Photo of protester embracing HPD officer captures moment of unity

HOUSTON – The protests have been loud, they have been emotional, and a very small number of agitators have managed to add chaos and destruction. But amid the outcry for change, a ray of hope and unity.

“When we were in the moment, I just seen a police officer standing there by himself,” said protester Teaira Johnson.

A photograph of the moment was captured Saturday in downtown Houston in the midst of this past weekend’s protests seeking justice for Houston native George Floyd. The photo shows an unknown officer and Johnson embracing in a moment of solidarity.

Johnson said she noticed the officer standing alone near protestors -- paying attention to what she and other demonstrators were saying.

“I seen him, like, shaking his head in agreeance to what everybody was saying about what happened,” said Johnson. “At that point, I stepped up to him and I leant in and I was like, ‘I just want to let you know you’re not alone. We got your back. Like as long as you’re for the people we’re going to be for you.’”

And after that brief conversation, she decided to make her move.

“I was like, ‘Sometimes people really just need a hug and you look like you need one,'” Johnson said. “So. I reached in, I gave him a hug and he said, ‘Thanks.’”

In the photo, you see the embrace and in the background a sign referencing “killer cops”. Also, people appearing to capture the moment. Johnson said some in the crowd were angered by the hug even hurling verbal assaults at her. But no mind, she said the embrace captured the overall goal of the protest.

“The mission is to make sure George’s name does not die in vain and to also make sure there is change,” Johnson said.

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