Sheriff takes off helmet, joins protesters in Flint

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FLINT, Mich. (CNN) — A Michigan sheriff joined hundreds of people who expressed their frustration during a peaceful protest in Flint Township Saturday night.

“We want to be with y’all for real,” Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson told the crowd gathered around him. “I took my helmet off, they laid the batons down. I want to make this a parade, not a protest.”

Protesters carried signs and chanted as they made their way by foot and in cars along Miller Road in the heart of the Flint Township business district.

They marched to police headquarters where they demonstrated briefly. While there, police and protesters talked and bumped fists.

“We can’t forget on all our police cars across the nation it says, ‘protect and serve,'” Swanson said. “That means all people, that means all people deserves the same dignity. If you can’t call out what’s wrong, try to make it right. And that’s the magic we saw tonight. Nobody’s arrested, nobody got hurt. This is how it’s supposed to be.”

The peaceful protest lasted several hours.

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