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House Democrats Link Arms During Pledge To Support Right To Protest

Cheyna Roth
Michigan Public Radio Network

(MPRN-Lansing) Ten state House Democrats linked arms Thursday during the Pledge of Allegiance in lieu of putting their hands over their hearts. They say it was to show solidarity with NFL players and to protest a controversial Facebook post by the leader of the Michigan State Police. 

The post by State Police Colonel Kriste Etue called the NFL players who take a knee during the anthem “degenerates.” She has since taken down the post and apologized.

State Representative Sheldon Neeley chairs the Michigan Legislative Black Caucus. He says the demonstration was meant to be respectful of the flag. But he says it also demonstrated support for the First Amendment right of NFL players to take a knee during the national anthem, and others who want to peacefully protest.

“We want to show them that their right is preserved here at the Capitol.”

Neeley says the black caucus has also asked Governor Rick Snyder and Etue for a meeting to talk about the leadership of the state police.

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