Local NewsAmerica in Crisis


An emotional moment with an officer changed a 10-year-old's perspective on the police

Posted at 11:31 AM, Jun 10, 2020

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. — 10-year-old Nevaea Brown from West Seneca, New York, is passionate about the Black Lives Matter Movement. She joined in peaceful protests in nearby Buffalo to call justice for George Floyd, the Minnesota man who died in police custody last month.

"Nobody could survive in a choke hold for like longer than ten minutes," Nevaea said. "I just wanted to be there for Floyd, because it's just not fair."

"She said she wanted to peacefully protest," said Nevaea's mother, D'Andra Brown, said.

Brown is from Jamaica and says she has family members who are police officers. She never wanted her daughter to be afraid of those who are supposed to help.

Brown said she was happy to see her daughter's opinion change on Thursday when New York State Park Police Officer Janine Kloetzer drove by.

"As I approached, she kind of froze up, looked very terrified, and put her hands up," Kloetzer said.

​Kloetzer said she couldn't just go on her way. ​She said she had to say something. But not as an officer — as a mom.

"It just broke my heart to see how terrified she looked just to see the police car," Kloetzer said. "I would be horrified if my children had to go through that same type of situation of being terrified just walking around in a park."

Kloetzer and Nevaea had an emotional conversation in Niagara Falls State Park.

​"She went out of her way while on duty to approach us and just explain you don't have to feel that way about all of us," Brown said.

Nevaea said the meeting helped change her perspective on the police.

​"I just thought it was good that not all police officers are bad," she said.

​Brown shared the moment on Facebook, and the video has now been shared more than 23,000 times.​

​"I did not expect it at all. I'm glad, in a way, she did it because at least we get to see some positivity — and that's what we want," Brown said.

"That one on one human interaction is where it all kind of has to start," Kloetzer said.

"Not all officers are bad," Nevaea said.​

This story was originally published by Olivia Proia on WKBW in Buffalo.