Police officers kneel to pray with George Floyd protesters

New York City police officers join Pastor Garelle K. Solomon (Purple Scarf) and The Excelling Church in protest on May 31, 2020.(Photo: Dr. Te Bassett)

Police officers have been seen kneeling and praying alongside crowds protesting the death of George Floyd last week. 

While riots and looting have dominated the headlines, many of the protests have been peaceful. 

On Saturday, officers from Miami-Dade County, in Florida, knelt in prayer with protesters in Coral Gables, near Miami. 

"This was a good first step in the right direction. It was a touching moment," a spokesman for Miami-Dade police told NBC Miami.

Pastor Joanne Hoehne, who co-leads The Source Church in Bradenton, said on Facebook that people had been moved to tears by the gesture. 

"In Miami when the protesters approached the police officers knelt and confessed they needed to do better. People began crying and praying together," she wrote on Facebook.

"Reconciliation is a beautiful thing. We must see more of it! What the enemy meant for evil, God will turn around for good!! But it will take humility, prayer and repentance." 

There were similar scenes in Santa Cruz, California, with the police department saying that the action was about "bringing attention to police violence against Black people".

In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Police Chief Murphy Paul told local news outlet WAFB he had joined a prayer vigil to show solidarity with people of all races.

"We need prayer now more than ever before, even before this incident," he said.

"We're keeping the community lifted up in prayer. We're keeping officers lifted up in prayer. We do understand and recognize that there is hurt out there, that there is pain, and I understand it.

"It's important for us to listen, and actively listen about what's going on in America and take a look at ourselves and agencies in law enforcement and ask ourselves what are we doing to make sure that an incident like that doesn't happen."