Protester, police officer share emotional moment and hug during justice rally

More than 200 people marched peacefully to Marietta square on Monday, calling for social justice—and police stood with them in solidarity.

Channel 2 Cobb County Bureau Chief Chris Jose was there when a demonstrator embraced an officer as a sign of peace.

Jose said he was standing just feet away in Laurel Park and watched as the white officer cried as he hugged the young black woman.

The message here for Monday was simple: peace, not violence.

“We don’t have to riot like animals! We can show our cause peacefully,” said Justin Simmons, who led the rally from a state in the park. “All lives do not matter unless black lives matter.”

The powerful moment between the police officer and the young woman occurred just before the crowd arrived.

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“We appreciate that y’all are here and are understanding. Because trust me, not every officer is like that,” Maykya Harris said as she embraced Brian Marshall, a major with the Marietta Police Department.

Two strangers with open dialogue, brought the long-time officer to tears.

“We blessed each other and prayed over each other,” Harris said.

Back at the rally, Jose spoke to Marietta City Councilman Reggie Copeland, who is also a bishop at House of Hope Church International.

“Do not only march today, but march right on down to the voting poll and vote the type of leader you want in leadership,” Copeland said.

“It’s like this: trying to kill a bear with a BB gun," he continued. "You’re going to lose that fight every single time because you have the wrong ammunition to pursue and kill the bear. The bear will eat you up every single time.”

The demonstrators said repeatedly that outside agitators were not welcome. Monday’s rally remained peaceful.

Several prominent Cobb County pastors told Jose they will sit down together on Tuesday to come up with an action plan.