Two groups of demonstrators, one supporting and the other protesting the police, faced off on Friday night in McKinney, Texas. “Black Lives Matter” protesters waved signs while most of the other “Back the Blue” protestors waved flags.
Tensions were high at time but when violence nearly erupted, police stepped in.
While local news reports mostly focused on the conflict, there were a few positive moments that stood out.
As anger rose among the dueling sides, a black man protesting police brutality and a white man supporting the police unexpectedly came together to discuss their differences in a civil manner. The two men held hands, hugged and prayed together, KDFW-TV reported.
“They want to make it a black and white thing, it’s not a black and white thing,” Lashadion Anthony said. “It’s a community versus the police that are abusing their power. We’re not saying that all police are racists and all police are bad, but there are certain police that are abusing their power.”
The other man, Scott Harmaring, said the moment made it clear to him that opposing sides can “work together.”
“It means there’s a chance that we can fix some of the problems in our society today if we’d all just learn to do what we just did and work together and pray together, there’s a chance…the policeman that created the problem is gone, but that doesn’t make our whole police department racist,” he added.
Another peaceful discussion was held that night as well.
Tammy Simpson, a young black woman from Dallas, and Charlie Bachmann, an older white man from McKinney, were seen exchanging in dialog, CBS News reported.
“Everything escalates,” Bachmann said to Simpson.
“We don’t want that to happen.” Simpson responded, “We don’t want that either.”
“He doesn’t want this to be a Ferguson. We don’t want it to be a Ferguson either. We just want justice,” said Simpson.
While neither of the discussions changed anyone’s mind, they agreed to listen to each other and found hope to resolve their differences through civil discussion and time.