And a Little Child Shall Lead Them*

Source: The Oregonian, The Oregonian, Daily Mail UK

devonte hart

…This image, shot by freelance photographer Johnny Nguyen, shows Portland Police Sgt. Bret Barnum hugging 12-year-old Devonte Hart during the Ferguson demonstration in Portland on Nov. 25, 2014….

…In a long Facebook posting of their own, the parents of Devonte Hart, Sarah and Jennifer Hart, told the story behind the photo….  

“We hit the streets (Nov. 25) with the intention of spreading love and kindness, and to remind (ALL) people that they matter in this world… I noticed Devonte was struggling. Tears. He wouldn’t speak. He was inconsolable. My son has a heart of a gold, compassion beyond anything I’ve ever experienced, yet struggles with living fearlessly when it comes to the police and people that don’t understand the complexity of racism that is prevalent in our society… It was one of the most emotionally charged experiences I’ve had as a mother. He trembled holding a Free Hugs sign as he bravely stood alone in front of the police barricade. Tears rushing from his eyes and soaking his sweater, he gazed upon them not knowing how they would react. After a while, one of the officers approached him and extended his hand. Their interaction was uncomfortable at first… There were generic questions about his favorite subject and what he liked to do in the summer, but the one that mattered hit straight to the heart. He asked Devonte why he was crying. His response about his concerns regarding the level of police brutality towards young black kids was met with an unexpected and seemingly authentic (to Devonte), ‘Yes. *sigh* I know. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.’ The officer then asked if he could have one of his hugs.”

*Isaiah 11:6 The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.

devonte hart 2

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