A black police officer put his humanity before his opinion when he rescued a white man wearing a shirt with a swastika from the pounding heat.
The incredible act of compassion was photographed as two rallies centered around the Confederate flag took place at the South Carolina State House in Columbia on Saturday.
Flags were ripped and burned by hundreds of demonstrators, many of whom are reportedly connected to the New Black Panther Party, while members of the Ku Klux Klan flew the flag while making Nazi salutes and violent threats.
According to Daily Mail, the South Carolina Department of Public Safety believed roughly 2,000 people to be in attendance.
Several violent clashes broke out, and five people were arrested for charges such as disorderly conduct and simple assault.
Temperatures peaking at 98 degrees resulted in 23 people requiring medical treatment.
One sufferer of heat stroke was a white man wearing a shirt advertising the National Socialist Movement Party, a Detroit-based neo-Nazi organization, Yahoo! News reports.
But Leroy Smith, a 25-year veteran of the force and the director of the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, didn't give the shirt a second thought when he walked the man up the stairs and out of the sun.
not an uncommon example of humanity in SC: Leroy Smith helps white supremacist to shelter & water as heat bears down. pic.twitter.com/GoF23r3mRe — Rob Godfrey (@RobGodfrey) July 18, 2015
While some social media users suggested the man deserved no help at all, others praised Smith for his dedication to public service.
@Seven_Duece He is a professional and did what he was trained to do. Color has nothing to do with his job. White dude will never forget it. — Carl Collins (@CarlCollins9) July 19, 2015
@eileenswank @RobGodfrey Unlike racist police personnel the a police persons job is to assist the public. The officer did his job. — james jones (@eskineez) July 20, 2015
@bijancbayne @RobGodfrey @robgreeneII This kindness chokes me up. How do SC people find that well of caring in the midst of so much hatred? — Elizabeth (@ElizabethQuaker) July 19, 2015
Citations: Black cop helps ill man wearing a swastika T-shirt at KKK demo moments after racist demonstrators chanted sick gorilla taunts (Daily Mail), Black officer helps white supremacist suffering from heat at KKK rally (Yahoo! News)