Man Promotes Peace as He Offers Free Hugs to Black Lives Matter Activists and Cops in Riot Gear
As chaos breaks out in North Carolina, one man is spreading peace by offering free hugs.
Following the fatal police shooting of 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott, protesters flooded the streets of Charlotte wielding signs that read "Black Lives Matter," and chanting phrases like "Stop killing us."
The tension was heightened between protesters and police officers wearing riot gear, but Ken Nwadike Jr., founder of the Free Hugs Project, decided to try to mediate between the two sides.
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"Just because he's wearing a uniform, doesn't mean he doesn't feel the pains our people feel," Nwadike told the protestors about a black officer in riot gear.
As he reaches out to hug and greet different officers, derogatory slurs were yelled to him from among the protestors.
"It's not like that, it's about staying neutral," Nwadike can be heard in his video posted to Free Hugs Project Facebook page. "We're all human. Just because they're wearing a uniform doesn't make him a robot. Just like your skin color doesn't make you a criminal. That's what I want people to understand."
The scene followed with a third night of violent protests, where crowds were sprayed with tear gas in an attempt to end the demonstration.
North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory declared a state-of-emergency late Wednesday after a man, 26-year-old Justin Carr was shot.
Carr was placed on life support, but died Thursday.
Fellow protestor Rayquan Borum, 26, was arrested and charged Friday morning in the shooting of Carr during the protests.
Amid protests, several grisly videos displaying violence from both sides have surfaced, including one poignant video of a man being kicked and dragged in a parking garage by a group of men.
Some efforts of easing the tension have arisen, including musicians that performed on the streets during a moment of slight calm.