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Black Police Chief Assists Man in Neo-Nazi Apparel at South Carolina Klan Rally

July 20, 2015  | 

Leroy Smith, director of the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, comes to the aid of a heat-stricken man wearing a swastika T-shirt at a weekend Klan rally in Columbia. (Photo: Rob Godfrey via Twitter)
Leroy Smith, director of the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, comes to the aid of a heat-stricken man wearing a swastika T-shirt at a weekend Klan rally in Columbia. (Photo: Rob Godfrey via Twitter)

White-supremacist groups and African-American demonstrators clashed in Columbia, S.C., on Saturday, resulting in at least five arrests and seven people taken to hospitals as tensions — and temperatures — flared following the recent decision to remove the Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds.

But it was the powerful image of a black police officer assisting a man wearing a black T-shirt bearing a swastika and struggling in the heat that resonated online.

In the photo, the officer, Leroy Smith, director of the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, is seen holding the arm of the unidentified protester as he helped him up the stairs and out of the sun. According to the National Weather Service, temperatures in Columbia hit a high of 98 degrees Saturday.

The image was uploaded to Twitter by Rob Godfrey, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s deputy chief of staff. And it quickly went viral, Yahoo reports.


Comments (1)

Displaying 1 - 1 of 1

Jon Retired LEO @ 7/21/2015 10:25 AM

Officer Smith was indeed professional in his handling of the man with the Nazi emblem on his shirt. That could not have been easy as he had to disregard his own feelings and do his job. Well done officer Smith. I also loath the Swastica that this misguided person was displaying.

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