An Ocala man covered in Nazi tattoos took to the streets to renounce his previous beliefs and join in on the Black Lives Matter protests that have swept the nation.
Dylan Gentry marched alongside protesters through the streets of Ocala this past weekend in recognition of George Floyd, the 46-year-old Minneapolis man who died while in police custody on Memorial Day.
Gentry, who works at Edgewood Mobile Home Park (according to his Facebook page), shared the meaning behind his message after a shirtless photo taken by local photographer Dave Miller went viral.
“All a Nazi has to see is change. Not just change of heart, but change of the times we’re in,” said Gentry on a Facebook post. He explained that his tattoos did not represent his beliefs and indicated he wanted to show that with his actions.
“I’d rather be that man that shows a difference and maybe be able to help y’all gain more support,” said Gentry. He indicated that he believed there were others within his community who shared his beliefs but remained silent for fear of alienating themselves from friends and family.
“I want to be the example that anyone can be embraced by anyone through love and support,” concluded Gentry.
Gentry says he is in the process of trying to remove his tattoos, but has experienced difficulties in getting it done.
Ocala’s first wave of protests this past Sunday saw hundreds take to the streets with messages of “No Justice, No Peace,” “Black Lives Matter,” and “I can’t breathe,” the words Floyd repeated multiple times while he was pinned by his neck for over 8 minutes by Officer Derek Chauvin of the Minneapolis Police Department.
Since this weekend, protesters have been seen all throughout the city of Ocala, walking up and down major thoroughfares with signs in support of Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement.