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A video of Genesee County Sheriff Christopher Swanson removing his riot gear and walking with Flint protesters went viral Saturday…

“We want to be with y’all for real so I took the helmet off and laid the batons down,” Swanson can be heard saying in video. “I want to make this a parade, not a protest.”

Swanson said he saw a Flint Township officer reach out and fist bump with someone in the march.

At that point, the sheriff said, he knew there was still room for communication between the public and law enforcement. Swanson removed his riot gear, going against almost all of his training, and approached one of the leaders of the movement.

“And I said, ‘What else do I need to do?’ and he said, ‘Walk with us.’ The best moment of my police career is when I said, ‘Let’s walk.’ And we walked over a mile back to where it started and I could feel an instantaneous peace on both sides,” Swanson said. “That would not have happened if they had not wanted to listen to what I had to say as well, so it is mutually agreed upon that I need to hear what they are saying.”

 

Big Jim and Erin welcomed Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson on the show to talk about what happened in Flint and what we have to do to change things: