Genesee County sheriff hosting a picnic as part of outreach linked to George Floyd's death | Michigan Radio
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Genesee County sheriff hosting a picnic as part of outreach linked to George Floyd's death

May 29, 2021

Sheriff’s Office Ambassador, Johnell Allen, says they had a picnic at the county jail because they “want to show it’s a place…that you can go for help.”
Credit Steve Carmody

Hundreds of people are expected to attend a picnic at the Genesee County jail in downtown Flint Sunday.

The picnic will be from noon 'til 2 p.m. After that, organizer Johnell Allen says Sunday’s picnic is part of broader day of service in Flint and other parts of the county.

“We’re going to do some paint. We’ll straighten up some fences. We’re going to be able to clean some stuff,” says Allen. “We’re going to make sure we go to these parks. We’re going to make sure it’s clean in Genesee County.”

Organizers say the picnic is intended to change the perception of the county sheriff’s office.

The event is part of the Genesee County sheriff’s outreach following the murder of George Floyd last year.   Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police officers spurred nationwide protests in 2020.

Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson walked with Black Lives Matter protesters who marched days after Floyd’s death. Since then, Swanson has promoted several “Walk With Us” activities to improve relations between the sheriff’s office and the community.