Home / National News / Photo of Cop Hugging Boy at Ferguson Protest Tells Poignant Story


(PORTLAND, Ore.) — Sometimes, all you really need is a good hug.

Amid the nationwide protests over the failure of a grand jury to indict a white police officer for shooting an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Mo., freelance photographer Johnny Nguyen snapped the below picture during a demonstration in Portland, Ore., on Nov. 25.

“I came upon this boy who had tears in his eyes and I knew this was the place to be, so I followed him in the crowd,” Nguyen said. “Then he came upon the police officer. They talked and he gave him a hug.”

Devonte Hart, 12, was at the demonstration holding a sign that said “free hugs” when Portland Police Sgt. Bret Barnum noticed him, motioned the boy over and the two began talking.

Nguyen said that Barnum pointed to the sign and asked “Do I get one of those?” and they hugged.

Nguyen’s Instagram account has more photos from the protests.

Seven people were arrested during the protest on Portland on Nov. 25, and parts of several highways were closed when pedestrians entered the roadways, according to police reports.

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