The actress led a passionate exchange between protesters and National Guard soldiers during a Los Angeles protest on June 2. Palmer criticized President Donald Trump’s rhetoric and asked the armed officers to march with the protesters. While the officers refused to march, they eventually took a knee.
“I’ve been to many different protests, but not one like this,” she told Kimmel. “Especially with all of the stuff that was happening with quarantine, so kind of just like being around that many people at once, it was… it was a lot. It was different. It was a different energy, I think, because none of us had been anywhere in a while.”
Palmer added that she didn’t plan on confronting the officers. “We were just marching, walking. I was excited to be there. Like I said, I hadn’t been around much people in a while,” she said. The actress explained that she “really wanted to be out there to just protest for this cause.”
“Then I saw the National Guardsmen and they were like blocking us from going further with the peaceful protest,” she said, noting that she was “weirded out” and “confused.” She said that her confusion came from a “genuine naïve place” and she didn’t understand why there was “this separation between us when they’re human like I’m human.”
“I know they have a job to do. I don’t know. I just felt like, ‘Why can’t they be with us? Marching with us?'” Palmer continued. “I feel like there’s such a division being created in society right now from every angle, whether you’re in the military, whether you’re black, white, whatever, that I just felt like we all need to come together and I think I just was really overwhelmed.”
She added, “I didn’t know really what I was saying. I was just really speaking from my heart and how I was feeling.”
Host Jimmy Kimmel shared the clip, which showed the armed officers taking a knee. Palmer can be heard saying that the guards taking a knee wasn’t enough for her.
The actress told the ABC host that she felt like they had the “opportunity in that moment” to address attempts to encouraging division. “I felt like, ‘Like, let’s just come together. Let’s be beyond that. Let’s be beyond what’s happening,'” she explained. “It was a risk. I understand he has a job to do, but I think in my mind I was just thinking at this moment, it’s like, you know, what if your job is telling you to do something you don’t believe in? Like, ‘I know you want to be out here with me. I know you want to walk, I know we wanna walk side by side. So let’s just do it.'”
Palmer received a phone call from presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden after the video went viral. “He wanted to talk to me a little bit after that, I suppose,” she said. “We had a conversation. I didn’t get to ask him everything I wanted to ask him, but it was good to talk, you know, and just to kinda hear what he’s talking about and what he’s saying right now.”
After Kimmel asked if she thought Biden was “on the right track,” the actress said that it was a “loaded question.”
“I guess he was cool,” Palmer said of Biden, adding that she didn’t feel “totally thrilled or excited” after the conversation. “It was good to talk, you know, and just to hear firsthand.”
Watch Palmer’s full interview below.