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The story behind this powerful Ferguson photo

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The image of a 12-year-old black boy tearfully hugging a white police officer has been shared globally on social media and hailed as the face of racial acceptance and equality.

The powerful photo was taken during a November 25 protest in Portland, Oregon, supporting the family of slain black teenager Michael Brown.

Ferguson shooting policeman resigns

Brown, 18, was fatally shot by a white police officer in the town of Ferguson, Missouri, in August.

The photographer responsible for the striking image, 20-year-old Johnny Nguyen, said he captured the captivating moment after instinctively following emotional 12-year-old protestor Devonte Hart.

“I saw tears running down Devonte’s face and a sign that said free hugs around his neck,” Nguyen, 20, told Time magazine.

“There was a lot going on, but my gut told right then and there to stay with this kid.”

As Devonte moved through the crowd, a police officer noticed the sign around his neck and stopped him.

“Do I get one of those?” the officer asked.

The pair then embraced before going their separate ways.

Nguyen, who shared the now-viral image on his Instagram page, said he feels it was the photo America needed.

“I think people deep down have been clambering for a glimmer of hope amidst all the negativity going on,” Nguyen said.

“I’m just glad I was there, in the right place and the right time.”

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