A Michigan police officer was suspended Sunday with pay after he was seen off-duty driving a pickup truck bearing a Confederate flag around a group protesting Donald Trump’s election as president.
Traverse City police Chief Jeff O’Brien announced the suspension of officer Michael Peters. O’Brien added that an internal investigation will begin Monday to determine whether 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."
O’Brien confirmed that a photo showed Peters at the rally Friday. The Confederate battle flag is seen by many people as a symbol of hatred and intimidation of African-Americans following the U.S. Civil War and the freeing of blacks from slavery.
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.
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."
There have been numerous reports of threats, intimidation and racially charged violence around the country since Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton in Tuesday's presidential election.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.