Thousands Encouraged by Photo of Police Officer and Protester Praying Together


Since the death of George Floyd on May 25, riots, protests and heated rhetoric have continued to divide the nation.

On Saturday, however, one photo gave a brief glimpse of hope for those praying that America can find some sort of reconciliation amid all of the tragedy and chaos.

In the photo, Officer Garren Hoskins of the Metro Nashville Police Department in Nashville, Tennessee, is seen embracing a masked protester as they pray together.

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Hoskins had approached the protester, which eventually led to the two men speaking about their shared Christian faith.

The officer then asked the protester to pray with him, which led to the amazing photo that is now offering a little ray of sunshine during the doom and gloom of the ongoing riots and protests.

Following the prayer, fires were set in the Nashville historic courthouse and City Hall, various buildings were vandalized and police cars were smashed, leading to the arrests of 28 people, according to WZTV.

While the death of Floyd and the resulting destruction, looting and various killings have shown the worst of humanity, other moments, such as this photo, have shown the power of love and compassion during even the worst of times.

In Jamestown, New York, on Sunday, prayer once again brought people together.

Nearly 100 people gathered at the city’s Dow Park, according to the local Observer. Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist, Jamestown Police Chief Harry Snellings and Chautauqua County Sheriff Jim Quattrone came to engage in a dialogue with the protesters.

After some talk, the whole event ended with a powerful moment of prayer.

“Lord we thank you for this time where we’re able to gather together in unity, as a community, to demand change,” one of the protesters prayed.

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“Holy Spirit, come and bring truth, come and bring life, come and bring love, come and bring unity.”

Another story of hope came from the center of the riots, Minneapolis, where, on Wednesday, small business owner and former firefighter K.B. Balla lost the business he had poured his entire life savings into thanks to violent rioters.

As of Monday, over 33,000 people have donated to the owner’s GoFundMe page, resulting in $1,011,850 in donations to rebuild all he had lost.

“This has been such an eye opening experience. The world has pourd into me and my family to support our business. At the same time being a resident of Minnesota and member of the community we have to do our part,” Balla wrote on the GoFundMe page.

“It has been remarkable that even through our greif we have found ways to comfort and support each other.”

In a time as divisive and heated as the present, reaching out to others with love and support is exactly what the culture needs.

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Michael wrote for a number of entertainment news outlets before joining The Western Journal in 2020 as a staff reporter. He now manages the writing and reporting teams, overseeing the production of commentary, news and original reporting content.
Michael Austin graduated from Iowa State University in 2019. During his time in college, Michael volunteered as a social media influencer for both PragerU and Live Action. After graduation, he went on to work as a freelance journalist for various entertainment news sites before joining The Western Journal in 2020 as a staff reporter.

Since then, Michael has been promoted to the role of Manager of Writing and Reporting. His responsibilities now include managing and directing the production of commentary, news and original reporting content.
Ames, Iowa
Iowa State University
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Culture, Faith, Politics, Education, Entertainment