As protests sparked by George Floyd’s death entered their chaotic fifth day, social media filled with images and video of police officers using batons, tear gas and rubber bullets to quell crowds—but some squads joined in with Saturday protesters to express their stance against police brutality, and to show solidarity with the anti-racism movement.
“We want to be with y’all, for real. I took my helmet off, laid the batons down. I want to make this a parade, not a protest,” Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson was seen telling protesters in Flint, Michigan, before he joined the assembled crowd to march, eliciting cheers.
Officers in Camden, New Jersey, helped carry a banner reading “Standing in Solidarity,” and seemed to join in with the crowd chanting “no justice, no peace.”
In Santa Cruz, California, Police Chief Andy Mills took a knee with protesters in the pose made famous by Colin Kaepernick, with the department tweeting it was “in memory of George Floyd & bringing attention to police violence against Black people.”
Two Kansas City, Missouri, police officers—one white man, one black man—were photographed holding aloft a sign reading “end police brutality.”
In Fargo, North Dakota, an officer was seen clasping hands with protest organizers while holding up a sign reading “We are one race... The HUMAN race.”
Officers in Ferguson, Missouri, participated in a nine and-a-half minute kneel in Floyd’s memory, with cheers erupting from the crowd.
Perhaps some within USCIS / ICE / CBP will take a knee next in recognition that many of the current policies they are forced to implement under the current administration are driven by racism and xenophobia? One can hope.
One can hope.