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Miami inner-city activist on going viral: ‘Don’t let a hug fool you’

MIAMI – Renita Holmes said Tuesday it was great that a video of her hugging Florida Highway Patrol Capt. Roger Reyes went viral this week.

The hug followed her efforts to diffuse what she knew could be a clash between protesters and troopers.

Holmes has protested against institutionalized racism, gang-related shootings, domestic violence and gentrification. And she said her activism against police brutality will continue.

“Don’t let a hug fool you,” Holmes said, adding that her activism is far from done.

Trooper breaks the line to hug woman at Miami protests
Trooper breaks the line to hug woman at Miami protests

The Overtown resident said the death of George Floyd still hasn’t been punished. Officers are still out there hurting people all over the country, she said.

Viral videos have power. The video showing former Officer Derek Chauvin pushing his knee against Floyd’s neck prompted a new movement.

Chief of Department of the New York City Police, Terence Monahan, hugs an activist as protesters paused while walking in New York, Monday, June 1, 2020. Demonstrators took to the streets of New York to protest the death of George Floyd, who died May 25 after he was pinned at the neck by a Minneapolis police officer. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
Chief of Department of the New York City Police, Terence Monahan, hugs an activist as protesters paused while walking in New York, Monday, June 1, 2020. Demonstrators took to the streets of New York to protest the death of George Floyd, who died May 25 after he was pinned at the neck by a Minneapolis police officer. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle) (Copyright The Associated Press 2020)

Chauvin faces a third-degree murder charge. The other officers who were with him and allowed him to commit a crime haven’t been punished. Holmes said Reyes would never do that because he listened and he saw the bigger picture.

“He will follow up,” Holmes said, adding that the video will help both protesters and police officers “know that they can talk to us. They know that we have a message, and they know that we are powerful as mothers."

A protester hugs a police officer who kneeled after protesters attending a rally against the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor chanted "Kneel with us! Kneel with us!" in Lexington, Ky., on Sunday, May 31, 2020. (Ryan C. Hermens/Lexington Herald-Leader via AP)
A protester hugs a police officer who kneeled after protesters attending a rally against the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor chanted "Kneel with us! Kneel with us!" in Lexington, Ky., on Sunday, May 31, 2020. (Ryan C. Hermens/Lexington Herald-Leader via AP) (Lexington Herald-Leader)

As long as there are protests in Miami against police brutality, Holmes said she will be out there trying to protect lives and introducing herself as “Biggie Mama.” She will continue to support the cause, she said, until “the terrorism” of police brutality ends.

A police officer and a demonstrator hug as people gather in Shreveport, La., Sunday, May 31, 2020. They marched to the Caddo Parish Courthouse for Black Lives Matter. (Henrietta Wildsmith/The Shreveport Times via AP)
A police officer and a demonstrator hug as people gather in Shreveport, La., Sunday, May 31, 2020. They marched to the Caddo Parish Courthouse for Black Lives Matter. (Henrietta Wildsmith/The Shreveport Times via AP)
Former Minnesota Gopher and NFL football player Tyron Carter pleads with protesters not to tear up their city, as he hugs Tony L. Clark, foreground, at the site where George Floyd died Monday in the custody of Minneapolis police, Thursday, May 28, 2020, in Minneapolis. (Jerry Holt/Star Tribune via AP)
Former Minnesota Gopher and NFL football player Tyron Carter pleads with protesters not to tear up their city, as he hugs Tony L. Clark, foreground, at the site where George Floyd died Monday in the custody of Minneapolis police, Thursday, May 28, 2020, in Minneapolis. (Jerry Holt/Star Tribune via AP) (© 2020 Jerry Holt/Star Tribune)

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