BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Jason Vinson, a photographer in Bentonville attended the Monday (Jun 1) ‘Justice for George Floyd’ protest in Downtown Bentonville.
While the Bentonville protests started off peaceful, things began to turn in a different direction after the sun went down, leading police to throw tear gas into the crowd.
But there were some good moments during the protest event too, and this one deserves to be highlighted.
Vinson shared this touching story with us from his experiences at the Bentonville protest and shared the beautiful photos he captured.
It’s a story of unity and togetherness.
Vinson tells us that a man went to the protest to protect the Confederate monument, which was located in the center of the Bentonville Square.
The statue has been subject to vandalism in past protests, so he sat on the statue with a quiet and watchful eye.
As protesters confronted him, arguments began to escalate.
He had his beliefs on the meaning of the monument and protesters had their beliefs.
One thing everyone could agree on was that police brutality needed to end.
The protesters wanted him to abandon his post and stand with them and promised the statue wouldn't be harmed.
They told him that the protest was bigger than the statue and wanted him to take their hand and join them.
He was reluctant and explained he was on their side, but he wanted to stay where he was, be ignored and remain a silent watcher.
Then something amazing happened.
He told the crowd that if he was going to join them, he wanted to do more than just grab a hand and step down from his post.
He said he wanted to jump in, and that's what he did.
He leaped down into the crowd and joined them.
Bentonville protesters joined in unity with man who came to guard the Confederate statue
Janson Vinson's photography website is www.vinsonimages.com.
Vinson says, “And this is what we need. We need silent watchers to stand and leap into the fight.”
Vinson wanted to make it clear what he meant by 'join the fight' and added, “When I say fight, I do not mean to resort to physical violence or vandalism. There are way more useful ways to fight than that.”