COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Thursday evening, outside the headquarters of the Columbia Police Department, officers joined protesters in kneeling and taking a moment of silence for black people who have died from police brutality.
What started with one black officer kneeling from a distance, turned into several of them joining protesters at the barricade in front of the department -- including Chief Skip Holbrook.
The chief saw what was happening and walked out of headquarters to join them.
Many protesters got emotional during the moment of silence.
Protesters then addressed officers directly, who stood quietly and listened.
One organizer said he knows systemic racism is not the fault of the officers. He also said he has loved ones who are police.
Another protester echoed that she has family members who are in law enforcement. She urged the officers to hold each other accountable.
Holbrook thanked the protesters for letting him join them and said he looks forward to having more conversations.
When he said, “stay safe tonight,” one protester said, “we trust you to keep us safe.”
Thursday is the sixth day of protests in Columbia.
On Saturday, the first day of protests, a large group of protesters marched to CPD headquarters, where things devolved into chaos.
People in the crowd vandalized three CPD cars and lit them on fire. Bottles and rocks were also thrown at officers on the scene.
This story will be updated.