GREENSBORO, N.C. — For four days, protesters have gathered outside Greensboro police headquarters and were blocked from the front entrance by a wall of bike officers standing silent and stone-faced.
That changed for a few moments Tuesday night after the crowds broke up and a small group of people stayed to pray with officers.
The exchange was recorded on Facebook Live. Officers and protesters joined hands in prayer. Jermaine Wright initiated the moment and recorded Tuesday as the 8 p.m. curfew went into effect.
“I believe in peace. I believe in love. I believe in unity,” Wright said.
Wright is a father to two young children and a student at North Carolina A&T. He has been part of the peaceful protests and caught in the chaos of them too.
“We can’t unite because we don’t understand each other. We don’t know each other’s story,” Wright said.
Wright approached the line of officers standing in front of the Greensboro Police Department. He sympathized with officers and shared his own experiences of racial profiling when an officer pulled a gun on him and his daughter in their driveway.
When he was finished speaking, officers had tears in their eyes.
“I’ve never seen them cry the way they did,” Wright said.
Wright told FOX8 Tuesday was just the beginning. He wants to see change and believes there needs to be clear communication and understanding between the community and law enforcement.
“Let’s turn all that anger and build. We’re so frustrated because we don’t have. Let’s channel all that energy and build,” Wright said.
A powerful moment that ended with Wright embracing every police officer standing outside.
“I understand. I understand their anger and frustration. It’s not just them. I understand the people. That’s what we need. We need to wash our hands clean of all the anger, frustration, resentment,” Wright said.
FOX8 asked if the officers in the video want to talk to us about the moment but we have not heard back from the police department spokesperson.
Wright is planning another gathering Thursday night at 7:50 p.m. on Elm Street by the old park.