WASHINGTON SQUARE PARK (WABC) -- The highest-ranking uniformed member of the NYPD took a knee to show his support for protesters at Washington Square Park.
A visibly emotional Chief of Department Terence Monahan took a knee and hugged George Floyd protesters at the park on Monday evening.
This happened after a few people threw bottles at the cops and a peaceful organizer with a megaphone approached Monahan and he spoke to the crowd.
Monahan said the protest leader asked the chief to take a knee with him for peace.
"I thought it was appropriate. We hugged to show there's solidarity," Monahan said
After Monahan's show of support, protest leaders even asked for help to better organize their marches and promised to keep marching peacefully.
Monahan said that moment was important to show the first step in "getting this together" and "getting those groups out of here," in reference to what the police say are outside groups that are causing the trouble at night.
"The people who live in New York want New York to end the violence," Monahan said. "Get the intruders that are not from this city the h*** out of here and give us back our city."
He urged the group to continue to protest peacefully.
Monahan came up through the ranks as a street cop in the Bronx and said he had never done anything like that with a protester.
More inspirational moments from protests:
Video shows NYPD officer shoving woman to ground during Floyd protests