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Burlington officers pose with 'End Police Brutality' sign in show of solidarity

A protester handed the sign to Chief Jeffrey Smythe. He then took it back to his department so his officers could share their support.
Credit: Burlington Police Department
Burlington Police Chief Jeffrey Smythe posed with a protester, then brought a sign back to his department for his officers to show their solidarity with protesters of the death of George Floyd.

BURLINGTON, N.C. — George Floyd protesters gathered for a peaceful demonstration Sunday in North Park in Burlington. 

Police Chief Jeffrey Smythe spoke to demonstrators and heard their concerns about police relations in the black community. One of the demonstrators handed him a sign that read "End Police Brutality." 

In a Facebook post, Burlington Police Department said Smythe "carried it proudly." Smythe then brought the sign back to his department so officers on duty could take photos with it to show their solidarity with those who protest the killing of George Floyd. 

Many officers did just that, and the department shared the photos on Facebook. The post garnered several comments commending the officers for their commitment to improving police relations within their community. 

"Great Start! Now let's get to work - building bridges and community relationships that will lead to real change here, there and everywhere," said Yvette. 

"Transparency and accountability are hallmarks of an effective force. BPD sets the pace for our community. Well done," said Don. 

Others showed appreciation for the photos but said more work still needs to be done. 

"Thank you for the acknowledgment and outward support but please go beyond and build the bridge with all communities in Burlington," said Maddy. 

Chief Smythe also commented on the photos of all his officers standing with the sign. 

"I am honored to protect and serve with each and every one of you. I am brought to tears by your heroism, professionalism, and character," he said. 

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