WATCH: Sheriff Leads His Officers to Join Protesters in Flint, Michigan: ‘These Cops Love You’
After days of unrest over the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers have rocked dozens of cities across America, one sheriff is being widely praised for his efforts to show solidarity with the protesters. A video of Chris Swanson, the Sheriff for Genesee County, Michigan, went viral after he led his officers to peacefully join with protesters in Flint Township on Saturday.
According to Mid-Michigan NOW, the protest in Flint had been planned and organized for Saturday evening, and involved several hundred protesters. Unlike the scenes in numerous other cities, this one remained peaceful, and that is likely due in no small part to the participation of Swanson and his officers who marched alongside the protesters.
In the video that has been viewed over 10 million times on Twitter alone, Swanson can be seen addressing the crowd, noting that he and his officers had removed their helmets and put away their batons.
“I want to be with y’all for real,” said Swanson, adding that he wanted to “make this a parade, not a protest.”
Amazing scene unfolding in Flint, Twp, Michigan. Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson has joined protesters in a peaceful march. Read More: https://t.co/4ioyUnymNv @MichStatePolice @GovWhitmer pic.twitter.com/nMCVuXQ0TZ
— Mid-Michigan NOW (@midmichigannow) May 31, 2020
“So listen,” Swanson continued, “I’m just telling you, these cops love you. That cop over there, hugs people, so you tell us what you need us to do.”
“Walk with us! Walk with us!” people in the crowd began chanting. Swanson smiled and gave high fives to several protesters.
“Let’s go, let’s walk!” said Swanson, as he and the other officers began walking along with the protesters as they cheered. “It’s a great night for a walk!”
Sunday, the Flint Township Police Department released a statement:
On Saturday May 30th 2020 at approximately 6:00 pm, officers with the Flint Township Police Department began monitoring a scheduled protest resulting from the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Several hundred protesters on foot and in vehicles marched and drove from Target on Miller Rd. to the Flint Township Police station over the course of several hours. The protest remained peaceful for the entire duration.
The Flint Township Police Department respects the communities freedom of speech and their desire to demonstrate peacefully. No arrests were made during this event.
The Flint Township Police Department was assisted by Michigan State Police, Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, City of Flint Police Department, Metro Police Authority of Genesee County, Clayton Township Police Department, City of Burton Police Department, Mt. Morris Township Police Department, Bishop Airport Police, Genesee Township Police Department, Davison Township Police Department, Genesee County Parks Ranger Division, Genesee County Central Dispatch, Genesee County Road Commission, and the Flint Township Fire Department. Their assistance during this event was greatly appreciated.
Watch the video above, via Mid-Michigan NOW on Twitter.
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