There hasn’t been much to cheer about in the aftermath of a St. Louis County grand jury decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson. Protests throughout the country succeeded in shutting down traffic but little more, and yesterday Wilson tendered his resignation from the Ferguson, Mo., police force.
But a couple of emerging stories carry at least a faint ray of hope. CBS News has details of what many are calling the “hug felt ’round the world”:
A touching photo of a white police officer hugging an African-American boy at a Portland protest this week has drawn heavy attention on social media.
The moment was captured by a photographer covering a protest Tuesday in Portland, Oregon, over a Missouri grand jury’s decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for the shooting of Michael Brown.
At the Portland rally was 12-year-old Devonte Hart, who stood crying out of sadness over the events in Ferguson. He was holding a “Free Hugs” sign.
Portland Police Sgt. Bret Barnum saw the boy’s sign and asked if he could have a hug. The boy gave him one.
Devonte’s mom Jen Hart was there and wrote on Facebook that it was “one of the most emotionally charged experiences I’ve had as a mother.”
Good on all of them! Kudos likewise to black Ferguson residents said to be armed with high-powered rifles defending a white-owned business in the city during recent riots. According to Inquistr, a 6-foot-8 man named Derrick Johnson and fellow black residents brandishing firearms drew a line in the sand in front of Conoco gas station owned by Doug Merello, who is white:
The men said Merello always treated them with respect.
“He’s a nice dude, he’s helped us a lot,” said a man identified himself as R.J. The 29-year-old R.J. said the group chased away several groups of teenagers who wanted to loot the store….
Not all store owners were so lucky. A picture that appeared on Twitter and is likely to remain seared in the memory of all who saw it is a tearful Nicole DuBose, who had scrimped and saved to open a bakery in town only to have it torched during the riots. DuBose is black.