The day of the Baton Rouge police shooting, in which a lone gunman killed three officers, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department posted a now-viral photo of two children who were praying for their father to return home safely.
The picture, which was shared via Twitter, quickly made its way to Facebook where it garnered more than 3,000 shares and 5,000 likes, according to ABC News.
"Praying their father and all police officers return home safely #thinblueline," the caption reads. Two children dressed as police officers kneel next to an official vehicle and bow their heads in prayer.
The "thin blue line" in the post refers to a now trending image of a black square with a thin blue line across the middle. The line represents what police officers are sworn to protect, according to the Huffington Post. It is the "barrier between anarchy and a civilized society, between order and chaos, between respect for decency and lawlessness," as one Facebook user put it.
The Baton Rouge shooting marked yet another incident in which police officers were the direct targets, according to The New York Times. The event comes only a week after the Dallas police massacre, in which five officers died. In both cases, a lone gunman who had military experience ambushed officers.
“We currently are living in an environment where police officers do not feel safe because of the heated anti-police rhetoric that is being heard far too often in cities across the country," said Texas Lt. Govenor Dan Patrick, according to the Times. "We also know, as Dallas Police Chief David Brown told us repeatedly last week, that on most days his officers do not feel they have the support of the community.”
The Black Lives Matter movement, which has been the most critical and vocal organization against police behavior and practices toward African Americans, came out against the police shootings, claiming that these events could increase racial profiling and police violence.
“I think it will make the movement work much harder,” said protestor Adjoa Danso according to the Times. “We’re going to see a greater militarization of police at protests, like we already saw in Baton Rouge.”
Of the three officers killed in the Baton Rouge shooting, two were fathers.