After Miami police officer Raymon Washington, 27, was injured last summer, he forged an unlikely bond with his assailant. When 17-year-old Michael Marshall found himself at a Black Lives Matter protest in July, his anger piqued, and he hit Washington over the head with a skateboard. The teenager immediately felt remorse for his action. An excellent student and member of his high school football team, he had never been caught in the fray of violence. With the help of a lawyer, he was able to meet personally with the officer, who, seeing himself in the teen, blessed a plea deal that allows the 17-year-old to continue his studies and pursue his aspirations to attend college and play football. It also has Marshall doing volunteer hours with the Miami Police Department, an effort that officials note can foster greater sensitivity between police and the communities they serve. Not only that, Officer Washington offered Marshall his personal cellphone number, as well as rides from practice after school and help in arranging tutoring. On a recent Friday night, Washington was in the stands cheering Marshall on in a football game that his team won.

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