What it was like to be a police officer at the Selma anniversary

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SELMA, Ala. (WHNT) - Alongside the Secret Service and Alabama State Troopers, police also played a role providing security in Selma for their anniversary weekend. Even a half-dozen or so Huntsville Officers helped with the human swarms.

Lt. Dewayne McCarver headed up the group. He says they mainly worked crowd control.

Of course, Bloody Sunday marks a well-known case of brutality from law enforcement. It's an issue already top of mind for many.

McCarver tells us, "Ferguson, the Garner case, there's just the understanding that there is a lot of tension right now between the black community and the police. "

So you can imagine what you think when you put on the badge and put yourself in the middle of a crowd commemorating standing up to oppressive law enforcement.

McCarver spells it out, "A lot of the officers who went down there, I believe went expecting to feel that tension in that environment."

But he adds when they got there, "That's not what we found. Whatsoever."

In fact he says, "I couldn't even begin to count the number of people who thanked us for our service. Thanked us for being there. Wanted a picture with us."

The real messages of the march reached everyone.

McCarver says, "You really got the sense of unity and togetherness."

Both sides got to see each other at their best -- a peaceful demonstration protected by police.

McCarver admits, "It's refreshing. It's a refreshing experience."

In the end, law enforcement walked away with same feeling that many of the marchers got.

McCarver sums it up, "I would say that I have come back changed."