Story behind hopeful photo amid tense protests in Oklahoma City

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A moment during the protests this weekend in downtown Oklahoma City is forever stamped into the memory of a demonstrator and an Oklahoma City police officer.

A picture, taken by Bryan Terry for The Oklahoman, shows Sgt. Amy Hanson holding hands and praying with Drew Rhodes.

Rhodes is an educator with the Oklahoma City Public School District.

Rhodes said at first, he had his hands up along the barricade in a fist in anger. “But my shoulders got heavy, I just brought the fist down to an open because I don’t want to lead in hatred.”

He held his hand out to multiple officers who turned him down; agitators in the crowd even told him to forget about prayer.

Then, Sgt. Hanson saw him.

“I was very compelled to go talk to him,” Hanson said. “He was peaceful. He was just waiting, just waiting for someone to make contact, talk to him.”

Rhodes said it was like there was something pulling them together to connect.

“We both had the same feeling. We were both drawn towards each other. Love, powerful soul, just soul to soul, just a connection, still feel it,” said Rhodes.

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