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Keke Palmer urges National Guard troops to march with protesters and "make history with us"

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CBS News investigates policing in America 05:54

In a powerful video, Keke Palmer pleaded with National Guard troops to march with demonstrators during a George Floyd protest in Los Angeles on Tuesday. While the soldiers couldn't move from their post, they showed their solidarity in another way. 

As a crowd gathered around videotaping the scene, Palmer, co-host of the daytime talk show "Strahan, Sara and Keke," urged several National Guard members to join the cause and march alongside the protesters.

"You have to pay attention about what's going on, or else — we have a president who's trying to incite a race war," Palmer said. "Our borders are closed, we can't leave. We have people here that need your help. This is when y'all stand together with the community, with society, to stop the governmental oppression. Period. We need you, so march with us."

"March with us," she said. "March beside us. Get your people. March beside us. Let the revolution be televised. March beside us and show us that you're here for us. Make history with us!" 

The soldiers replied they could only march as far as the end of the block because they had to stay at their post. They eventually declined to walk with the group, but some protesters asked them to take a knee, a symbolic gesture to protest police brutality that was popularized by former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The troops kneeled, many in the crowd joined them, and the demonstrators around them cheered. 

Footage of the moment, which was shared by an NBC News journalist, has racked up more than 17 million views on Twitter. 

Palmer told "Good Morning America" on Wednesday that the incident happened "randomly." She said she wanted to give the troops a chance to protest, too. 

"I was just talking to the people that I was marching with. I just posed the question of 'Why are they not with us? Why are they not able to be with us?'" she said. "Here we are marching in peace and with purpose, and I'm sure many of them feel the same way as we do. I wanted us to just unite as human beings above all."

Protesters and members of the Army National Guard kneel together during a demonstration over the death of George Floyd in Los Angeles on June 2, 2020. AGUSTIN PAULLIER/AFP via Getty Images

Other moments of bonding between demonstrators and law enforcement have gone viral since the protests over George Floyd's death spread across the country. A Michigan sheriff took off his helmet and joined protesters in a march. Police officers in several cities have also kneeled. Some officers have even hugged protesters. However, some critics have pointed out that these peaceful moments haven't prevented other encounters with law enforcement from turning violent. 

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