Andrea Larese reported to Historic City News that the sight of Civil Rights activist James Jackson demonstrating against the recent shooting deaths of two black men at the hands of police in Louisiana and Minnesota, as well as the shooting deaths of five police officers at a rally in Dallas, moved her.
However, when she watched St Augustine Police patrolman Roy Smith bring the 72-year-old demonstrator a bottle of cold water, Larese said she was overwhelmed with emotion.
“I’m in tears as I post this,” Larese wrote on her facebook. “I’m not sure who this policeman is, but I am so proud to live in a city where we love each other and care for each other.”
More than half a century after Jackson first started “speaking out” during the civil rights movement, he has been standing in the hot sun at the corner of West King and Ponce de Leon Boulevard holding his “All Lives Matter” sign.
Even though Larese did not recognize who Jackson is, she observed that he lives in a world where someone made him feel like his life might not matter.
After witnessing Officer Smith’s act of kindness, Larese said that the patrolman deserves a hug for showing that this is NOT a race war, there is still good in this world.