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‘I understand your pain’: Officer empathizes with protesters in Charlotte

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – An officer in North Carolina is going viral for sharing an empathetic message with protesters.

Officer Jasmine Nivens was caught on camera engaging in dialogue with demonstrators who appeared in a rally in Charlotte to protest the death of George Floyd, who died in police custody last week after an officer knelt on his neck.

“I can’t speak for those officers or that officer in Minneapolis. I can only do what I can do and what I can say and how I feel. I’m hurt the same way you hurt, like you hurt, like everybody out here’s hurt. We all feel the same pain,” Nivens was heard telling protesters.

Nivens, who is black, went on to tell protesters that she understood their pain and would do everything in her power to hold her colleagues accountable.

“Obviously some of our pain is deeper – deeper rooted just because of the color of our skin,” Nivens continued. “I understand that, I understand your pain. I do my best to hold my brothers and sisters in blue accountable. I can speak for myself in the situations that I’ve been in where I’ve had to say ‘Hey, ease up!’ Or somebody’s had to tell me ‘Hey, ease up!’ I’m confused as to why that didn’t happen.”

Thousands of people took the streets in rallies across the United States, including here in Tampa Bay, to protest Floyd’s death. Although most of the rallies were peaceful, some turned violent. Stores were looted and burned, and police were hit with rocks and bottles.

Fourteen people were arrested in St. Petersburg Sunday night after a crowd of nearly 200 people gathered outside of the police department headquarters and rocks and bottles were thrown at officers.

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