‘Beautiful moment’: Protesters cheer for NJ police officers kneeling during Black Lives Matter rally
HIGHTSTOWN, N.J. - While many have criticized local law enforcement for their tactics against demonstrators in protests over the death of George Floyd, some police and deputies are being praised for crossing the line and participating in the protests.
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One crowd cheered as a group of police in New Jersey kneeled with demonstrators during a Black Lives Matter rally on Tuesday.
Video taken by Amanda Szeles shows what she called a “beautiful moment.”
The video shows crowds of protesters greeting the officers, shaking their hands as they kneeled on the other side of a physical barrier.
Similar instances of police showing solidarity with protesters have appeared on social media, some in which authorities have deescalated tense confrontations between police and protesters by showing support for protests condemning systemic police brutality.
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Marchers in Flint Township, Michigan, arrived at a police station where Genesee County Sheriff Christopher Swanson — responding to chants of “Walk with us! Walk with us!" — said, “Come on!” and joined the protest.
Matt Bueby posted a video to Twitter showing Swanson diffusing tension between police and protesters as he joined the ranks of the Black Lives Matter demonstrators.
“We want to be with y’all for real. I want to make this a parade, not a protest,” Swanson said. “These cops love you. You tell us what you need (us) to do.” He then was greeted with chants of “walk with us,” and he shouted “let’s walk,” motioning to the road.
Swanson condemned the acts of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who was seen pinning Floyd to the ground amid his cries of “I can’t breathe." Chauvin was arrested on third-degree murder and manslaughter charges on Friday.
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In Denver, Police Chief Paul Pazen was seen with another officer marching arm-in-arm with protesters during a peaceful demonstration on Monday.
KDVR posted the video to Facebook and it has garnered hundreds of comments commending the chief.
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Protests have been held for days in cities all over the United States in response to Floyd’s death. Floyd, who was black, died May 25, after Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck until he stopped breathing.
Storyful and The Associated Press contributed to this story.