Twitter | @JoshuaPotash

Michigan Sheriff Drops Weapon And Marches With Protesters: 'These Cops Love You'

When a crowd bearing signs and chanting for change approached the Flint Township police station on Saturday night, their demonstration could have easily turned as violent as those that have been happening all across the country in response to the death of 46-year-old George Floyd.

But that's not what happened.

Instead, responding police officers actually removed their helmets and dropped their weapons in a sign of peace, and then joined the protesters to march in solidarity, The Hill reported.

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Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson was the first to remove his helmet, and he instructed the other officers to do the same.

Reddit | tokenblackguy90

In a video posted to Reddit, Swanson can be seen calmly addressing the crowd who have gathered outside police headquarters.

"The only reason we're here is to make sure that you've got a voice," he explains, receiving a round of applause in response. "Don't think for a second that [Derek Chauvin, the officer charged with Floyd's death] represents who these cops are from all over the county and around this nation."

Swanson goes on to emphasize that their job as police officers is to "help people, not do that nonsense."

Reddit | tokenblackguy90

"We wanna be with y'all for real," he says. "So I took my helmet off, [the other cops] laid their batons down... I wanna make this a parade, not a protest!"

As the crowd cheers and a few people even offer Swanson high-fives, he adds, "These cops love you!"

He then instructs the crowd to "tell us what you need to do," prompting the protesters to chant, "walk with us."

As seen in the Twitter video above, Swanson only listens to the chants for a moment before throwing his hand in the air and shouting, "Let's walk!"

He then joins the crowd of peaceful protesters, as do the other officers, and he can be seen in the video giving more high-fives as they all march together.

Swanson later described the moment he dropped his weapon and joined the protesters as "magic."

"We can’t forget on all our police cars across the nation, it says protect and serve," he told ABC 12. "That means all people deserve the same dignity and you can’t call out what’s wrong and try to make it right. And that’s the magic we saw tonight."

He continued, "We marched, not one ounce of damage, nobody’s arrested, nobody got hurt, this is the way it’s supposed to be."

Floyd was killed on May 25 when he was handcuffed and pinned to the ground by arresting officer Derek Chauvin, who pressed his knee into Floyd's neck for nine minutes.

Chauvin has now been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Graphic footage has since been released showing Floyd making desperate pleas with Chauvin as he repeatedly says, "Please," "I can't breathe," and "Don't kill me." The video has sparked outrage and inspired protests all across the country.

h/t: The Hill

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