VIDEO: Lightning’s J.T. Brown trains with Tampa PD after anthem protest

Tampa Bay Lightning right wing J.T. Brown (23) before an NHL preseason hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Lightning player J.T. Brown had nowhere to hide when shots were fired at him during a simulation with the Tampa Police Department.

The bullets flying were blanks, but Brown was role-playing as a police officer in the Tampa Police Department’s Citizens Police Academy.

Tampa’s interim police Chief Brian Dugan invited the Lightning wing out to gain some insight after Dugan saw an image of Brown raising his right fist during the national anthem.

“I wanted to know why he did it and what was he thinking,” Dugan said.

Brown was following the path of NFL players who have knelt or sat during the anthem in protest to raise awareness of police brutality and racial injustice.

He says after his experience with the Tampa Police Department, he has a better understanding of the dangers police face every day.

He captioned a video (above) of the encounter on social media saying, “I wasn’t ready for this traffic stop💩👖

Dugan said he wanted the men who came out to experience the decision-making process that cops make every day. He added that they learned a lot and had a good time with it.

“I think it was a good first step to build the dialogue and get people talking about the issues out there,” Dugan said.

Stay with WFLA News Channel 8’s Lila Gross for the latest trending news straight from social media provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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