‘These cops love you’: Sheriff joins protest against police brutality
Violent deaths of African Americans have spurred protests across the United States, which include calls to end police brutality.
While some cities have seen clashes between protestors and the police, others saw cops show solidarity with demonstrators. Such was the case in Flint, Michigan where officers and Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson expressed support for a protest.
Hundreds of protestors in Flint gathered on Saturday, May 30 to condemn the death of George Floyd while he was under police custody in Minneapolis, MLive reported yesterday, May 31.
Floyd, 46, died while being arrested last May 25 over an alleged forgery at a grocery store. He was pinned to the ground by a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, who knelt on his neck despite Floyd repeatedly saying, “I can’t breathe.”
The protestors began at 6 p.m. with some walking and others in vehicles. The group reached the Flint Township Police Department after about two hours, where cops had formed a barrier.
Although emotions were high, police and protestors were soon communicating with each other and exchanging hugs and fist bumps, as per a report from WEYI yesterday.
Swanson removed his helmet and placed down his baton before addressing the crowd. His speech was caught on video by the news outlet.
“We want to be with y’all, for real. I took my helmet off, laid the batons down. I want to make this a parade, not a protest,” he said, drawing cheers. “These cops love you. That cop over there, hugs people. You tell us what you need to do.”
The crowd chanted “walk with us,” and Swanson called back, “Let’s walk. Let’s walk.”
“Our community is hurting, no different than communities across this country. It is time to embrace each other and listen to the concerns of those around us… expressing compassion and understanding towards our neighbors,” Swanson said on Facebook yesterday, where he shared pictures of the protest.
Our community is hurting, no different than communities across this country. It is time to embrace each other and…
Posted by Sheriff Chris Swanson on Sunday, May 31, 2020
“Healing is never easy or simple, and cannot be achieved in one night. Devoting each and every day to the idea of uniting around dignity and respect, and dedicating ourselves to building relationships established around fairness and equality… that is our path forward.”
Flint Township police stated yesterday that the protest was peaceful and no arrests were made. JB
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