Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson ordered his deputies to lower their batons and joined in a peaceful protest on May 30. The group was demonstrating against the death of George Floyd, who died in police custody in Minneapolis in May 25.
“We want to be with y’all for real. I want to make this a parade, not a protest,” Swanson said. “These cops love you. You tell us what you need (us) to do.” He then was greeted with chants of “walk with us”, and he shouted “let’s walk”, motioning to the road.
“A turning point for our Flint, MI community, when Sheriff Swanson joined in the march for Black Lives matter, instantly diffusing a tense situation and turning it positive,” Matt Bueby wrote on Twitter.
Swanson also condemned the acts of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who was seen pinning Floyd to the ground amid his cries of “I can’t breathe." Chauvin was arrested on third-degree murder and manslaughter charges on Friday.
Flint protests remained largely peaceful, according to reports. Credit: Matt Bueby via Storyful