Listen Live

While violent protests broke out in Charlotte, North Carolina earlier this week, one man tried to calm racial tension by giving out free hugs.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

CNN reported that Ken Nwadike started the Free Hugs Project two years ago after the Boston Marathon bombings.

Nwadike went to Charlotte to try to spread a message of peace.

Related: Little boy gives free hugs and donuts to officers in Charlotte

Video shows Nwadike hugging several officers in full riot gear as violent protests started to unfold around them.

As protesters gathered around him, this man gave free hugs to the officers working to keep the streets of Charlotte safe. (

Posted by WSB-TV on Friday, September 23, 2016

Some of the protesters started to taunt him over it.

“I wasn’t sure if I would get grabbed by the police officers,” Nwadike told CNN. “But also on the protest side — because there was so much anger and frustration — I didn’t know what to expect.”

Nwadike admitted that he wasn’t sure how the officers would respond, but several of the officers ended up thanking him for the hugs.