A Michigan police officer suspended after flying a Confederate flag from his pickup during a political rally has resigned. Traverse City Manager Marty Colburn says Michael Peters turned in his resignation Monday evening.
Colburn says Peters apologized to the community and “for the stain he put on the city” and its police department. Colburn said he believes Peters’ apology was sincere.
That Peters was suspended with pay after he was seen Friday driving the pickup with the flag near a group protesting the election of Republican Donald Trump as president. Peters also was seen drinking a beer in a restricted parking zone. He had previously parked the vehicle displaying the flag in the police department’s lot.
The flag was flown from the rear bed of a pickup near a “Love Trumps Hate” rally in the city. The truck was then parked near the rally where the driver was seen drinking a beer.
One of the protesters, Marshall Collins Junior, He spotted the officer’s truck with the flag.
“I was talking to some friends and my sister and then that’s when the truck came by with the flag on it and revved its engine right as it got near us,” Collins said.
Collins then confronted Peters.
“My confrontation was, why you would bring that here, knowing what that stands for? Why would you bring that here? The fear that that flag instills in me, the fear that that flag has put in me and other people like me, why would you choose to display that?” Collins said.
The Grand Traverse Democrat Party Chair, John Snow, said Peters also took out a bottle of beer and started drinking it.
“The fact that this man carries the shield of the Traverse City Police Department, I think wrecks all of the good work that our current chief has done in trying to improve community relations,” Snow previously said.
Police chief O’Brien said the behavior was intimidating and not a reflection of the police department’s mission, according to the newspaper.
“We will get through this,” O’Brien said. “The community will get through this.”
Colburn says Peters’ behavior remains under investigation. The Associated Press was unable to find a telephone number for Peters.