Just over a year after police in Ferguson shot and killed black teenager Michael Brown, protesters were on the streets again marking the anniversary of the killing, with dozens getting arrested in scenes reminiscent of the demonstrations that took place last year.
There was one person there though who certainly wasn't demonstrating, instead she was doing the opposite. 19-year-old Lexi, a nursing student at St. Louis University, stood between protesters and the body-armoured cops because she wanted to "protect" them from the demonstrators.
Standing there in her Fall Out Boy t-shirt and hipster glasses, she represented something of an anomaly in what was a highly tense and eerily prescient situation. Here was a white teen standing up for a police force of mainly white officers whose colleague a year earlier had killed an unarmed black teen.
Is she sure they're the ones who need protecting? Did she fully grasp the irony of the situation?
In interviews she's given since the photo of her standing there—taken and posted online by Lynden Steel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch—went viral, she seems completely shocked that anyone wouldn't trust the police. "I’d rather get hit by something," she says in the image, "than let it hit them."
With all this combined a meme was born, as the internet fully realised the irony of Lexi's decision, and so decided to photoshop her into other situations featuring people and places, both fictional and non, who equally didn't really need protecting.
Here's the original photo.
And here's the internet's reactions.