This is how it’s done.
No riot gear. No violence. No setting buildings on fire.
Since May 25, when George Floyd died in Minneapolis after a police officer knelt on his neck for roughly nine minutes during an arrest, there has been nonstop media coverage of violent protests taking place across America.
Derek Chauvin, the police officer in question, has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter, and his case will be tried in the criminal justice system. No one disagrees that what he is accused of doing is horrible and criminal.
But as a result of the incident, protests have erupted all over the nation, and innocent people have been killed, including a federal officer in Oakland, California.
The establishment media has at times enabled and misrepresented the unlawful rioters by refusing to call them just that. Instead, the rioters have been labeled as demonstrators while buildings burn in the background.
National monuments have been defaced and historic churches have been torched.
Extremists are using the protests against police brutality as justification for their actions.
But in Flint, Michigan, the county sheriff took a different approach when he confronted a gathering of protesters.
Sheriff Chris Swanson of Genesee County walked into the middle of a large group and spoke to them from his heart.
He assured those gathered he meant no harm after he put down his riot gear and talked to them.
“We want to be with you all … I want to make this a parade, not a protest,” he said. “These cops love you.”
He used heartfelt words to disarm the citizens gathered to protest.
“Don’t think for a second that he represents who these cops are from all over the county and around this nation,” Swanson said of Chauvin in another video. “We go out there to help people, not do that nonsense.”
Do you think this sheriff handled the crowd the right way?
Instead of confronting the protesters, Swanson joined them and walked with them. He let his voice be heard and supported their right to demonstrate in a peaceful manner.
He let them know that violence is never the answer. Words carry meaning when spoken in love and with a tone that invites trust.
All Americans have a constitutional right to protest — it can make a difference, influence others and bring about positive change. But unlawful rioting, looting, killing people and destroying people’s livelihoods are actions that are completely uncalled for and never the answer.
Everyone needs to examine the way Swanson handled the situation in his community.
Words can be more powerful than a molotov cocktail.
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