When Dallas Police Sr. Corporal Ruben Lozano went to Deep Ellum to find a mural he'd seen online, he never thought he'd meet the artist. The message in the mural resonated with the Dallas Police officer.
"The message was spread love, not hate. As we were driving down Main St. I see Mr. Gabriel Thomas painting a mural of Ms. Sandra Bland. So I stop and I ask him if I can take a picture of the mural, and of him in front of the mural and finally I asked if I could take a picture with him," Lozano said.
It was at that moment that Lozano says God spoke to him.
"God told me to ask this man if I could pray for him and he obliged," Lozano said.
Lozano put his hand on Thomas' shoulder and the two bowed their heads as Lozano prayed. When the prayer was finished, the two hugged in what was an emotional moment for both men.
Lozano said its not something he normally does, but he felt called to do it at the moment.
"I think when God pulls on our heart strings or the Holy Spirit speaks to us, we don't always listen," Lozano said. "Sometimes we miss an opportunity to be a blessing to someone."
Even Gabriel was taken aback.
"I remember him saying, 'This is crazy. I've never been this close to a police officer in a positive manner and I've never hugged a police officer,'" Lozano said. "Well what I wanted him to know is that despite the uniform, I'm a human first."
A bystander took photos of that moment that eventually went viral.
Lozano said the protests have changed his perspective.
"I always knew that there was an issue with relations between law enforcement and the black community but a lot of times we just don't speak up about it. I think this has really opened my eyes to be vocal about it because if we don't say anything and we stay silent, then we are part of the problem. Part of fixing the problem is recognizing there is a problem and coming to the table and having an open dialogue," Lozano said.
We're proud to call Sr. Corporal Ruben Lozano and artist Gabriel Thomas this week's KRLD Difference Makers.
"I just want to thank Mr. Thomas for allowing me to pray for him because that moment changed my heart as much as I think it changed his as well," Lozano said.