Denver man trying to bridge racial divide: ‘Racism is something that’s taught’

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DENVER (KDVR) — A Denver man is doing his part to try to be part of the solution to bridge the racial divide and police tensions after the death of George Floyd. 

“Thank you, sir,” Michael Reed told a Colorado State Patrol officer on Tuesday afternoon. 

Wearing a “free hugs” T-shirt and giving out an elbow bump, Reed is trying to spark meaningful dialogue. 

“Racism is something that’s taught. We don’t come out the womb knowing we’re supposed to hate,” Reed said.

He is outraged over the killing of Floyd but says the violent riots and aggressors destroying property is not the solution. 

“To throw bricks and rocks through windows and rob TVs out of stores and hurt innocent people who had nothing to do with it, no, not at all. I don’t support that,” Reed said.

On Tuesday, he stopped by a handful of Denver police stations to meet with officers and let them know, in his eyes, the actions of the Minneapolis police officer charged in Floyd’s death do not represent all officers. 

“A lot of the people out here — they see someone in uniform and automatically that person is an enemy. That’s not right,” Reed said. “One of the officers said the week he’s had has been really tough and in the hour and a half conversation we had, it just really brought a lot of light to all of the darkness.”

FOX31: “How do we move on from here? How do we change this current turmoil?”

Reed: “Lots of love. Lots of compassion.”

Reed says change has to come from everyone. 

“If you have this community over here, and this community over here – you guys might not understand what each other are doing and you never will – until you get to know one another and then come to find out you might have a lot in comparison and there was no reason to hate.”

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