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Black Officer Reveals Why He Helped The Man Wearing A Swastika Shirt

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The black police officer photographed helping a white man wearing a swastika t-shirt to escape the heat believes he was simply abiding by the non-discriminatory policies of his line of work.

Leroy Smith, the director of South Carolina's Department of Public Safety, came to the aid of a man attending a Confederate flag rally on Saturday who was reportedly suffering from heatstroke.

The photo was taken by a spokesman for South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, and it received endless praise on social media.

But in a statement to The Guardian, Smith said it's the responsibility of all police officers to disregard "skin color, nationality or beliefs" when someone is in need of their assistance, and so, he was surprised the image went viral.

He continued to say his display of tolerance and compassion embodied "who we are in South Carolina."

Smith added,

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.

The picture was taken as the Ku Klux Klan protested the removal of the Confederate flag from outside of the South Carolina State House.

An estimated 2,000 people, including spectators, braved temperatures of nearly 100 degrees to attend.

Citations: Black officer who helped KKK supporter says policing is helping people regardless of beliefs (The Guardian)