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Dublin: 15°C Thursday 28 October 2021

The black police officer pictured helping a sunstroked white supremacist has spoken

Leroy Smith says he hopes “this photo will be a catalyst for people to work to overcome some of the hatred and violence we have seen in our country”.

THE BLACK POLICE officer who was recently pictured assisting an ailing white supremacist at a Ku Klux Klan (KKK) rally in South Carolina, has spoken regarding what the photo means to him.

Leroy Smith, who in fact serves as a director of South Carolina’s Department of Public Safety, said he was “somewhat surprised by how the photo had gone viral”.

“Even though I serve as the director of this agency, I consider myself like every other officer who was out there braving the heat on Saturday to preserve and protect,” he said in a statement.

The photo that was captured just happened to be of me.

Smith had been working at the rally last weekend in uniform, helping with crowd control.

One of the KKK protesters asked him to help two men who appeared to be suffering from heat-related issues, which he duly did, with the incident being captured in a photo by deputy chief of staff to the South Carolina governor Rob Godfrey.

His selfless actions have been inspiring people on social media with the photo quickly going viral across the web.

“Our men and women in uniform are on the front lines every day helping people – regardless of the person’s skin color, nationality or beliefs,” Smith said.

As law enforcement officers, service is at the heart of what we do.
I believe this photo captures who we are in South Carolina and represents what law enforcement is all about.
I am proud to serve this great State, and I hope this photo will be a catalyst for people to work to overcome some of the hatred and violence we have seen in our country in recent weeks.

Read: What is the Confederate flag and why is it still flying?

Read: Barack Obama delivers rousing eulogy for those killed in hate crime

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