A Michigan police officer has been suspended with pay after he drove a pickup truck with a Confederate flag to an anti-Donald Trump protest and reportedly got into a confrontation with a demonstrator.
The Traverse City officer, Michael Peters, was off duty at the time. Police chief Jeff O'Brien promised an internal investigation to determine if Peters broke department rules. "He is not working as a police officer," O'Brien told the Traverse City Record Eagle. "I do not condone his actions."
The confederate flag is considered by many to be a symbol of hate towards black people, and its appearance at an anti-Trump rally marks yet another moment of racial insensitivity following Trump's election.
O'Brien addressed Peters' actions in a Facebook post. "Let me assure you that we hold our officers to a higher standard and the flag incident will be fully investigated," he said. "The community will get through this."
If O'Brien finds evidence of illegal behavior during the investigation, he intends to send it to Grand Traverse County prosecutors, the Traverse City Record Eagle reported.
Alex Kantrowitz is a senior technology reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in San Francisco. He reports on social and communications.
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