Police kneel

Witnesses say that some among both police and protesters were moved to tears by the powerful gesture
Police in North Carolina have defused a tense standoff with protesters by kneeling with them in support of calls for justice in the George Floyd case.

The scene played out on Monday in Fayetteville, where marchers confronted a line of police on Murchison Road and all 60 officers took a knee in unison for approximately 30 seconds.

'As a show of understanding the pain that is in our community and our nation regarding equality, the #FayPD took a knee to show that we also stand for justice for everyone,' the department said in a tweet.

'We are committed to listening and treating everyone with dignity and respect.'

Witnesses say that some among both police and protesters were moved to tears by the powerful gesture.

'The protesters first got mad when asked to step back. But once the officers knelt down it was on,' wrote Mimamo Monika on Facebook.

'Men and women alike started crying and then cautiously came toward the police officers to shake their hands ..the crowd disbursed ..this all happened right around 8:00 PM when the curfew started and I take it the protesters thought they were going to be arrested ..but our Fayetteville PD humbly knelt before them instead,' she continued.

'These are moments that will go down into history and will be taught to future generations,' Monika wrote.

'To that one officer who was shedding silent tears early on my heart goes out to you,' wrote Julianne Smigiel.

'Let's keep this positivity going, do the work, and build a community with room for everyone at that table.'

It comes as similar scenes have played out across the country, with local leaders and police calling for peaceful protest while condemning widespread rioting and looting that has played out after dark in many cities for days on end.

In Chattanooga, Tennessee, police officers knelt alongside peaceful protesters outside of the federal courthouse building on Monday.

On Tuesday, police officers stationed in front of the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC knelt in front of protesters.

And in New York City, NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan took a knee with protesters against the death of George Floyd on Monday evening after a request from the demonstrators.

Video of the interaction shared on social media shows Monahan telling protesters that NYPD officers agree that the situation in Minnesota that led to Floyd's death in Minneapolis police custody was wrong.

'There is not a police officer over here that thinks Minnesota was justified, we stand with you on that,' Monahan said, speaking to protesters from a microphone.

'But this is our city, our city. Do not let people who are not from this city have you come here and screw up your city,' Monahan said.

He called for peace and blamed widespread looting and violence on 'intruders that are not from the city.'