As tensions between police and demonstrators continue to grow in some areas of the US, a touching moment of solidarity between a white police officer and black protester has been captured on camera.
Hundreds of people marched through the streets of Johnson City, Tennessee this week in response to the death of George Floyd while in police custody.
Washington County police were on the scene to help keep the peace – no easy task considering the scenes of violence, looting and growing anger seen around the country as people demand answers.
Some demonstrations like the one in Johnson City managed to remain peaceful, but with both police and protesters unsure of each other, the situation is always tense.
“There was just a lot of tension on both sides," Washington County’s deputy sheriff David Cate who was at the protest told local outlet WCYB5.
Mr Cate said through the crowd of demonstrators he saw a black man he described as carrying a lot of pain.
“I could see the frustration, and I felt God speak to me and tell me that I needed to go talk to him," Deputy Sheriff Cate said.
Mark Karluah was that man who had gone to the area to peacefully protest and said the moment the police officer approached him “meant the world to me”.
"That he would see me in the middle of the crowd and say, 'Sir I see you and see what you're fighting for,'" Mr Karluah said.
Photographs of the interaction have since become viral with people happy to see solidarity between law and the public.
When asked what the two discussed Deputy Sheriff Cate told WCYB5 they spoke about the time for change.
“I told him, ‘Look, I have a black niece, and I love her so much and I care about her, and I hate that this stuff is going on and we need to make a change’,” he said.
Mr Karluah said he broke down when he heard the officer’s emotional response.
“I could see the sincerity in his eyes, and felt the sincerity in his heart, I broke down... looking at him eye-to-eye, I never can say I looked at a cop and saw understanding,” he said.
Other photos have surfaced of police offers showing solidarity with peaceful protesters.
In Colorado, police knelt with protesters for eight minutes and 46 seconds in silence, the amount of time the police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on George Floyd’s neck before he died on Memorial Day.
While in New York, police officers shook hands with protesters during a solidarity rally in the city.
“I truly believe we have a lot of good officers out there," Deputy Sheriff Cate said.
Mr Karluah urged those behaving violently in protests to make their statement with peace instead.
"If you’re out there fighting, don’t fight with violence," he said.
"We're not rioters. We're fighting in a way of peaceful protest. We come together and we don’t break apart, as soon as we break apart our words become weak.”
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