Devonte Hart, holding a “Free Hugs” sign

Free Hugs For Ferguson

A Portland police officer, Sergeant Bret Barnum, was wearing protective head gear and patrolling a protest in Portland, Oregon when he noticed a 12-year-old boy, Devonte Hart, holding a “Free Hugs” sign.

Devonte Hart, holding a “Free Hugs” sign

The 21-year police vet motioned over Devonte and the pair chatted about the demonstration, school, art and life, the Oregonian reported. When their chat was over, Barnum reportedly pointed to Hart’s sign and asked, “Do I get one of those?”

Here’s the kid’s answer:

Devonte Hart, holding a “Free Hugs” sign

A simple hug between two people, who are just trying to get along, gives us all a little more hope.


  1. Reblogged this on Sexual Reminisces and commented:
    Alas the media rarely highlight the abundances of good works in action such as these. And they certainly don’t encourage a path of unity in today’s world. Sadly their twisted and negative influence permeates through to many sheep like thinkers. Are you a sheeplike thinker or do you investigate the fact for yourself?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. GREAT post!! I absolutely LOVE this!!! I wish there was more sharing of these types of stories & heartwarming images – quite frankly I think more of them exist, they just aren’t always shared. Anyway – thanks for sharing – looking forward to checking out more of your blog 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Days before Christmas, throughout this great land,
    People were raising their voices and hands,
    Protesting violence both here and abroad,
    Crying for justice and praying to God.

    The angels looked down at what couldn’t be righted
    Until crowds of people joined hands and united.
    Mobs at the peak of their anger and grief
    Discouraged the angels with sad disbelief.

    But through clouds of chaos, a prayer was heard,
    As meek as the sound of a sweet baby bird.
    A young boy was weeping and standing alone,
    Holding a sign he had made on his own.

    Watching the protesters walk through the streets,
    He offered “Free Hugs,” as they mocked the police.
    One girl smiled back but was soon pushed away.
    Nobody wanted a “Free Hug” that day.

    As the poor boy dropped his sign on the ground,
    An officer noticed his tears streaming down.
    “What’s wrong?” the man asked him and listened with heart.
    The boy’s deepest anguish had torn him apart.

    He feared police violence he saw on the news
    And longed to reach out, asking people to choose
    To love one another with smiles and free hugs,
    Not shooting and fighting each other as thugs!

    What drew crowds in protest was not the same reason
    The boy had come out, but the holiday season.
    Not angry chanting, but sharing life’s song —
    Gifts of the spirit to be passed along.

    The officer glanced at his handwritten sign,
    And asked for a hug, if the boy didn’t mind.
    They hugged, and a journalist captured his tears:
    Embracing a cop had erased his worst fears.

    The photo went viral, online and worldwide,
    Touching more hearts, reaching deeper inside
    Than hundreds of rioters marching for miles.
    One hug from a boy was enough to bring smiles!

    The angels worked quickly to send all around
    The message of hope with an impact profound,
    Healing division with heavenly grace,
    Humbled by tears on the little boy’s face.

    Encouraged, the boy knew his prayers were heard.
    His friends multiplied, helping him spread the word.
    With “Free Hugs” for Christmas and through the new year,
    The world was their witness that love conquered fear.


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