Police officers kneel in solidarity with protesters in several U.S. cities

National News

Protesters have been taking to the streets of several U.S. cities for nearly a week in response to the death of George Floyd. There have been a number of violent clashes between law enforcement and demonstrators across the country — but in some cities, officers have knelt in solidarity with demonstrators.

In Coral Gables, a city near Miami, a peaceful protest attended by hundreds on Saturday included a moment of prayer with police officers, CBS Miami reported. Powerful images from the demonstration show officers kneeling, heads bowed, in solidarity with protesters. Some protesters chanted “Black lives matter!” and “No justice, no peace, no racist police.”

Chiefs from two Miami-Dade police departments addressed the crowd and answered questions. “These gentlemen behind me stand for bringing justice, just like you’re asking for,” said Key Biscayne Police Chief Charles Press, according to CBS Miami.

Coral Gables Police Chief Ed Hudak said he and the organizers of the protest will keep the dialogue going this week though Zoom. The two chiefs of police also acknowledged the need for better training and reviewing protocols.

A similar scene played out in parts of New York City. Although there have been clashes in parts of the city, one official in Queens took a knee as demonstrators chanted “thank you” and “keep the peace,” CBS New York reported. Another officer was seen taking a knee in solidarity in Times Square on Sunday, prompting a hug from a demonstrator.

In Washington, D.C., a group of officers lined up and took a knee in front of the Trump International Hotel. “There was an immediate outburst of joy and fist bumping,” tweeted CBS News’ Julia Boccagno, who captured video of the scene.

In Ferguson, Missouri, the non-profit Heroic Imagination captured the moment when protesters and Ferguson police officers kneeled for over nine minutes in solidarity, CBS affiliate KMOV reported. Ferguson, where an 18-year-old black man named Michael Brown was killed by a police officer in 2014, was the catalyst for widespread protests against brutality at the time.

Photos from Houston, Texas, show Police Chief Art Acevedo walking with protesters during their march. And in Bellevue, Washington, Police Chief Steve Mylett knelt in solidarity with a group of protesters. He then addressed the crowd, telling them, “We are with you, we’re not against you,” video showed.

While there are several other videos showing police officer joining protesters in solidarity, in many cases, interactions between police officers and protesters have turned violent. In some cities, police have used rubber bullets and tear gas, and some people have set structures on fire and looted stores.

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