Police Officer And Young Demonstrator Share Hug At Ferguson Rally In Portland

Nov. 25: Portland police Sgt. Bret Barnum, left, and Devonte Hart, 12, hug at a rally in Portland, Ore., where people had gathered in support of the protests in Ferguson, Mo. (AP Photo/Johnny Huu Nguyen)

Nov. 25: Portland police Sgt. Bret Barnum, left, and Devonte Hart, 12, hug at a rally in Portland, Ore., where people had gathered in support of the protests in Ferguson, Mo. (AP Photo/Johnny Huu Nguyen)

Fri Nov 28, 2014 at 03:57 PM PST
Police Officer And Young Demonstrator Share Hug At Ferguson Rally In Portland

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.According to Sgt. Barnum, the interaction took place at the beginning of the rally. With emotions running high as speakers were addressing the crowd, he noticed a young man with tears in his eyes holding a “Free Hugs” sign among a group of people.

Sgt. Barnum motioned him over and the two started talking about the demonstration, school, art and life. As the conversation ended, Sgt. Barnum pointed to his sign and asked, “Do I get one of those?” The moment following his question was captured in the photo above, which shows Devonte’s eyes welling up with tears once again as he embraces the officer.

Perhaps, a few more hugs and a lot fewer shootings (by police officers) would be more appropriate, responsible, constructive, and helpful. What are your thoughts?

BTW, Devonte Hart has an amazing story. You can read it here.

New Yorkers Mark Anniversary of Odessa Tragedy, Call for US to Stay Out of Ukraine

Flowers and candles brought to mourn the victims of the fire at the Trade Unions House on Kulikovo Field in Odessa.

Flowers and candles brought to mourn the victims of the fire at the Trade Unions House on Kulikovo Field in Odessa. © RIA Novosti. Anton Kruglov

RIA NOVOSTI

NEW YORK, November 3 (RIA Novosti) – New Yorkers, who gathered in the Times Square to commemorate the six month anniversary of the May 2 Odessa tragedy, urged the United States not to intervene in the situation in Ukraine.

The demonstration, which was organized in the Times Square Sunday, was conducted under the slogan “We don’t want another war, US out of Ukraine!”

“We issued a petition which is going all over the world calling the US to stop all money direct or indirect aid to Kiev, demanding an independent investigation of events in Odessa. And stop the US policy of NATO extension that is threatening to draw the whole world into another conflict,” Greg Butterfield, a Coordinator of the Ukraine antifascist solidarity committee of the International Action Center told RIA Novosti Sunday.

According to Butterfield, the petition, which now has around a thousand signatures, will be sent to Washington.

“The Ukrainian regime backed by the United States has not conducted a serious investigation mush less taking any measures to punish the guilty…we are here today as people from the US from a lot of different backgrounds to say that we want the truth about this and we want to know what role the US government has played in organizing it,” Butterfield stressed.

On May 2, clashes in Odessa broke out between independence supporters on one side and fans of the Odessa and Kharkiv football teams on the other, later joined by Euromaidan activists.

Pro-Kiev radicals and Right Sector militia blocked the anti-government protesters in the House of Trade Unions and set the building on fire, using Molotov cocktails. Those trapped inside had little chance of extinguishing the blaze, as fire hoses in the building were out of order.

At least 48 people died, and over 200 were injured as a result of the fire. Local officials accused Kiev of covering up the actual death toll of at least 116.

A military conflict erupted between Kiev and independence supporters in southeastern Ukraine in mid-April, when the country’s authorities launched a special operation against local populations, opposed to the new government, which came to power as a result of the February coup.

Since the beginning of the crisis Kiev has been striving for closer cooperation with NATO. In September, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko delivered a speech at the US Congress claiming that his country needed strong US support, including special status with NATO.