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A Michigan police officer was suspended for driving with a Confederate flag


A Michigan police officer was suspended with pay after he was spotted driving a pickup truck bearing a Confederate flag around a protest against President-elect Donald Trump. 

Traverse City Police Chief Jeff O'Brien announced Sunday that Officer Michael Peters was suspended because of the incident. 

O'Brien added that an internal investigation will be launched Monday to determine whether Peters broke any department rules. 

O'Brien told the Record-Eagle that he does not condone the officer's actions. 

"We are to provide protection for everybody," O'Brien told the Record-Eagle. "The Confederate flag is not something we consider an oath of office. We take an oath of office to the Constitution, not the Confederacy. I personally feel that flag stands for hate and hatred."

The police chief added that his officers have a right to free speech, but must also follow a code of conduct. 

The Record-Eagle reports that Traverse City police recently shifted to a community policing model and O'Brien said Peters' behavior at the protest didn't reflect well on the department. 

After driving by the protest, Peters also parked his truck nearby and began drinking a beer, according to reports. 

For many, the Confederate battle flag is seen as a symbol of hatred toward African Americans.

Since Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in Tuesday's presidential election, there have been a series of reports regarding racially charged incidents around the country. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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