- The Washington Times - Monday, July 20, 2015

A black police officer is being praised on social media after a photo showing him assisting a white supremacist amid clashes Saturday in Columbia, South Carolina, went viral.

The image, uploaded to Twitter by Rob Godfrey, Gov. Nikki Haley’s deputy chief of staff, showed Officer Leroy Smith helping a heat-stricken man, who was wearing a shirt promoting the National Socialist Movement Party and bearing a swastika, Yahoo News reported.

The Ku Klux Klan and the New Black Panther Party demonstrated Saturday at the state Capitol, following the recent decision to remove the Confederate flag from Statehouse grounds. Clashes reportedly led to at least five arrests and at least seven people were taken to hospitals, mostly from heat-related injuries.

“We want to thank the multiple law enforcement agencies involved today for an excellent response, and for assistance in keeping protesters and those on the grounds safe during the rallies,” Officer Smith, director of the S.C. Department of Public Safety, said in a statement.

The white man in the photo has not been identified.

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