Jaedyn Hill thought her video would get 10 or 20 views.
It got more than 3 million.
Hill, 11, of Oregon, had a plan in mind when attended the Black Lives Matter march with her family on June 12 near the Ogle County Courthouse. She wanted to do a TikTok video with a police officer.
“I took a chance and asked [Chief Shawn Melville],” Hill’s mother, Jordyn Garcia, said. “He had no idea what it was. He got officer Matt Kalnins, who came up to her and asked if she’d dance with him. They picked an easier one. He learned the moves and was fun about it.”
As of June 23, the video had 3.2 million views on the social media platform. Garcia was “shocked” at the response. Hill has been “over the moon” about it. Hill is one of Garcia’s five kids. They’ve lived in Oregon for 2.5 years.
The family chose to attend the march because they wanted to be a part of the movement and the moment in the country’s history. Garcia wanted her children to see that there are people who care about them. The BLM movement has been a part of their lives for 11 years.
“My daughters are part African-American and they’ve been called n-words and slaves at school,” Garcia said. “I worry about them. It’s a big problem in the community and in the world. I had chills the whole time. It’s very scary. The march was wonderful. They got to see the positivity and negativity.”
The march drew over 300 people. There were a handful of dissenters. A moment of silence was held for George Floyd, who was killed in police custody on Memorial Day in Minneapolis. Marches like Oregon’s have swept the nation since Floyd’s death.
Hill said she was “happy and excited” that Kalnins wanted to do the video with her.
“He was a nice officer and wasn’t saying stand back like the other ones were,” Hill said. “I feel really good about that.”
Most of Hill’s friends have seen the video and have told her how awesome they thought it was. A neighbor asked her about how she got famous all of the sudden.
Garcia was happy she took her children to experience the march and hopes that Hill and her siblings take something away from the experience.
“That there’s good in everybody,” Garcia said. “She’s a young black woman and a white officer did that with her. She’s seeing how the world has responded. She got to be a part of something and she’ll have that forever.”