In an effort to negate stereotyping, however, redditors have resurrected a three-year-old video of a Los Angeles police officer calmly interacting with protesters.
The 20-second clip, which has collected more than 755,000 views, features a large group of people protesting against a Scientology movie being filmed on Hollywood Boulevard, reported laist. While protesters chant from behind a barricade, Sgt. Wayne Guillary of the LAPD asks them to be careful because he “doesn’t want them running out in the streets, getting hit by a car.”
“Enjoy your time protesting,” Guillary says in the video. “You live in the United States. The greatest country in the world.”
Though posted on Reddit several times over the last three years, the video reached the top of the r/videos subreddit today, collecting more than 700 comments and 9,000 upvotes. Most people praised the police officer for his actions and some even discussed sending him something for Christmas.
“This guy needs to be on police training video. Serve and protect,” wrote johnq-public. “This is how police should respond to peaceful people or peaceful protests.”
“Let's get some more of these posts up here on the front page. Police brutality needs to be brought to light, but there are a great many cops out there that are dedicated to protecting our freedoms and our safety, and they need to know that the world is watching them, too,” wrote aardvarki.
Even a fellow police officer weighed in on Guillary’s actions.
“I am a police officer, and I completely agree that this is how things are SUPPOSED to be done,” wrote AwiatingDeath24. “Unfortunately, we have too many cowboys and bullies that make it in to the force.”
The Daily Dot has verified that Guillary still works for the LAPD and is waiting on a response to an interview request.
According to RateMyCop.com, Guillary’s profile has been viewed more than 38,000 times and he has a five-star rating.