Arlington County police officer pride parade photo goes viral - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Arlington County police officer pride parade photo goes viral

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ARLINGTON, Va. -

He has been with the department less than a year, but an Arlington County police officer is in the spotlight after a photo went viral and has the internet buzzing.

He wasn't on duty, but he was volunteering and representing the department on his day off.

“It was just a spontaneous moment,” said Officer D.J. Stalter.

But it turned into the kiss seen round the world. A photograph was taken of Officer Stalter kissing his boyfriend during D.C.'s gay pride parade in early June.

If you look closely at the picture, the kiss happened right in front of anti-gay protestors from the Westboro Baptist Church.

“The reaction has been overwhelming,” Stalter said. “We've been contacted by people from all across the country and the world from New Zealand, Australia, Norway.”

Stalter wasn't the only officer at the parade who celebrated with a public display of affection. He said the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive.

“I think it's a great thing that you can be in uniform and express who you are,” he said. “We wear the uniform at work, but we're still human just like everybody else.”

Arlington County Police Chief Doug Scott said Officer Stalter didn't violate any rules.

“I certainly had some issues with the fact that it was done in front of protestors,” Chief Scott said. “I think part of when we're in uniform, we’re representing a very professional image and we don't do things to incite the crowd.”

The kiss did not lead to any violence and the chief said Stalter has the support of the department.

“He's a good young officer,” said Chief Scott. “I think he's a pretty courageous guy.”

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