FORREST CITY, Ark. (WREG) — Mid-South law enforcement have some special gifts for an East Tennessee man who said he was beaten while holding a thin blue line flag at a demonstration last weekend.
Nathan Allen, 21, said he proudly waves his flag whenever he gets the chance. It’s been his lifelong dream to become a police officer.
“I would love to be one,” Allen said. “They go out and help the community when they need help.”
But now his flag is held together only by tape after he took it to a George Floyd demonstration in Morristown, Tennessee.
“Just doing my peaceful protest. The next thing I know, I’m surrounded by protesters, and they knock me out,” said Allen.
Police said William Black hit Allen in the face, sending him to the hospital.
When Allen went to retrieve his flag, he said he found it in ripped to shreds in a trash can.
Arkansas State Police arrested Black on Thursday in St. Francis County, but when they heard Allen’s story, they and St. Francis County deputies were determined to go above and beyond the call of duty.
“This young man stood out there supporting us for what we do, and we decided that it was time to show something to give back to him since he stood out there for us,” said Sgt. Luke Bethell with the St. Francis County Sheriff’s Office.
Not only did deputies replace Allen’s flag, they each signed it. They’re also sending him his own badge and patch.
“I’m pretty happy, surprised,” Allen said.
He never expected his support for law enforcement would lead to law enforcement hundreds of miles away supporting him.
“We’re here for anybody and everybody, and we will help anybody any way we can,” Bethell said. “That’s part of the true tradition of law enforcement.”