A black female police officer is receiving praise on social media for berating a white male officer after pushing a black woman protesting on her knees.
According to Distractify, the situation occurred Sunday near a parking garage in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Officer Steven Pohorence was walking through a crowd of protesters when an African American woman dropped to her knees in front of him.
Pohorence grabbed the woman by the back of her head and shoved her head forward as he walked by. The female police officer, identified as Krystle Smith, immediately begins screaming at Pohorence and shoves him past several police officers.
The protest, which was largely peaceful until then, turned as protesters began throwing bottles and other debris at the police.
Fort Lauderdale Police Chief Rick Maglione praised Smith for her actions in deescalating the situation.
“She did what you are supposed to do: When you see either adrenaline or emotion or some kind of interaction going south … that is our job to do, is intervene,” Maglione told reporters Monday. The Fort Lauderdale police declined to make Smith available for an interview.
Social media also praised Smith. Twitter user @illest_A tweeted “This is what society is asking for!!! For the GOOD COPS to speak up and hold the bad apples in the system accountable for their dirty ass actions!!!!”
According to various news reports Monday, Pohorence has been suspended with pay pending an investigation.
Incidents of police attacking protesters have only added fuel to the fire while politicians and city employees choose sides.
In New York City, two NYPD vans drove into protesters trying to force them to move out of their way. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio defended the officer’s actions Sunday.
“It is inappropriate for protesters to surround a police vehicle and threaten police officers,” he said in a press briefing. “That’s wrong on its face and that hasn’t happened in the history of protests in this city.”
The night before, a New York City bus driver refused to drive arrested protesters to jail. TWU local 100, which represents bus drivers in the city, released a statement Friday saying drivers can and should refuse to drive arrested protesters.
Former President Barack Obama has also weighed in on the protests and the killing of George Floyd.