WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — On Thursday, after a group of hundreds of protesters took a knee for 8 minutes and 46 seconds – which is how long former police officer Derek Chauvin’s knee was on George Floyd’s neck – most eyes were on the loud gathering as they made their way along Winston-Salem city streets on Thursday.
But it was a quiet conversation on a side street that spoke volumes.
Yullanda Williams Dickey drove by the protest on her way home and decided to gather her family to head back out.
“I went home to get my kids and my husband just so that they could see what was going on,” she explained.
That included her young son, Kamari.
As protesters made their way by them, officers were alongside the crowd. One of those officers was Sgt. Dan Battjes, the sergeant of the Winston-Salem Police Department’s Traffic Enforcement Unit.
FOX8 cameras watched as Kamari walked up to Battjes, as he sat on his motorcycle.
As a message of “community and law enforcement come together,” was blaring from the nearby megaphone, Kamari and Battjes engaged in a fist bump followed by a conversation.
Kamari introduced himself by spelling his name for Battjes as the conversation lasted a couple of minutes, with Yullanda and the rest of the family looking on.
As Battjes needed to move along, he told Kamari he had “to give him one more pound.” The two parted ways, as Kamari walked back to his mother.
“I loved it, I loved it,” she said.
While Battjes only looked down on Kamari from his motorcycle in the literal sense, it turns out Kamari was looking up at Battjes in more than one way.
“He always said he wanted to be a policeman and I’m just praying that nothing changed that,” Yullanda said. “Nothing.”
The moment was an example of how, in a time where the guilt or innocence of suspects and officers is dominating the front page, perhaps the innocence of a child is what we need to reach a new chapter.
“We need to stand for the justice of every person,” Yullanda said.