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Confederate Flag-Flying Cop Suspended Following Anti-Trump Protest

REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

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Amber Randall Civil Rights Reporter
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A Michigan police officer was suspended after he drove a pickup truck bearing a Confederate flag at an anti-Trump protest Sunday.

Traverse City police Chief Jeff O’Brien announced Sunday that Officer Michael Peters had been suspended without pay, reports CBS News.

“He is not working as a police officer. I do not condone his actions,” O’Brien declared. He also said that an investigation starting Monday would determine whether Peters broke any department rules.

Peters attended a “Love Trumps Hate” rally Friday while off-duty. Photos from the rally show a man drinking a beer next to his pickup truck, while a Confederate flag rested in the bed of the truck.

O’Brien confirmed that Peters was the man in the photo.

Marshall Collins Jr., a black man, said he confronted Peters about the Confederate flag’s history.

“It means a lot to people like me. It means hatred,” Collins said.

“My confrontation was, why you would bring that here, knowing what that stands for? Why would you bring that here? The fear that that flag instills in me, the fear that that flag has put in me and other people like me, why would you choose to display that?” Collins added.

O’Brien maintained that Peters’ actions do not reflect the rest of the department. The Confederate flag symbolizes hatred, O’Brien said.

“That’s not what the Traverse City Police Department represents. We are to provide protection for everybody. The Confederate flag is not something we consider an oath of office,” O’Brien declared. We take an oath of office to the Constitution, not the Confederacy. I personally feel that flag stands for hate and hatred.”

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