The moving picture went viral over the weekend

By Tara Fowler
July 20, 2015 09:00 AM
Rob Godfrey/AP

A black police official who was photographed helping a white supremacist suffering from heat exhaustion at a KKK rally this weekend is being hailed as an inspiration.

In the incredible picture, Leroy Smith, the director of South Carolina’s Department of Public Safety, escorts a man wearing a National Socialist movement T-shirt out of the sweltering heat at a Columbia, South Carolina, rally protesting the removal of the Confederate flag from the Capitol. Temperatures soared into the high 90s during the protest on Saturday.

Photographer Rob Godfrey Tweeted his moving photo on Saturday afternoon, writing: “not an uncommon example of humanity in SC: Leroy Smith helps white supremacist to shelter & water as heat bears down.”

Godfrey serves as South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s deputy chief of staff. Haley pushed for the Confederate flag to be removed after alleged gunman Dylann Roof killed nine parishioners at Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church in what authorities have called a racially motivated attack.

“We are a state that believes in tradition, we are a state that believes in history, we are a state that believes in respect,” Haley said earlier this month as she signed the bill to remove the flag. “So we will bring [the flag] down with dignity and we will make sure that it’s put in its rightful place.”