Here’s a story that may inject a bit of hope into your heart.
At a Portland demonstration following the Ferguson grand jury’s failure to indict Darren Wilson in the killing of Mike Brown, an unlikely pair shared a solemn embrace. Devonte Hart, 12, and Police Sgt. Bret Barnum met under unfortunate circumstances but had quite the connection. The photo of their resulting hug, taken by photographer Johnny Nguyen has since went viral online.
On Tuesday (Nov. 25), Hart stood at a local protest holding a sign that read “Free Hugs” with tears in his eyes. Catching the attention of Barnum, the officer motioned for Hart to come speak to him. According to The Oregonian, the two ended up discussing “the demonstration, school, art and life.” After their exchange, the officer reportedly pointed to Hart’s sign and asked, “Do I get one of those?” And Nguyen was on-hand to catch the moment.
In a blog post, Hart’s adoptive mother Jen told some of her son’s story. Revealing that she and her wife adopted him after he had suffered substantial neglect, Jen shared that Devonte has since been involved with several charitable efforts.
“He inspires me every single day,” she said. “He has proven doctors, psychologists and teachers wrong. His future is most definitely not bleak, he is a shining star in this world. His light shines bright on everyone on his path.”
Read more about Devonte Hart here.