An upsetting photo has surfaced online of a young boy who appears to be African American giving a vulgar gesture to a police car in Springfield, Massachusetts and has left people on both sides of the spectrum wanting answers. The photo, which has since been deleted along with the Facebook profile that it first appeared on, depicts what many are calling a disappointing display of bad parenting. Sgt. John Delaney, a member of the Springfield Police Department had this to say after being asked his thoughts after viewing the picture:
“I would go and rescue that little boy if he was drowning, if he was in a car accident, if he was choking on something, and I would do that and not ask for thanks, and there are 400 other police officers in the city of Springfield that would do the same.”
The boy’s father is the one who taught him that this is acceptable behavior, and encouraged him to give the middle finger to police, according to a local blog. The photo has sparked outrage among law enforcement and BLM activists alike. Chico Dusty, who was among the activists marching in Springfield on July 10 says this type of behavior only hurts their cause.
“I think that just shows bad parenting,” Chico Dusty told the news station. “That doesn’t represent anybody for the whole race or for our cause. Just because we come together in protest, don’t mean that we’re against all police officers, just the ones that abuse their power.”
Sgt. John Delaney went on to say that he was outraged, not as a police officer, but as a parent. How, on any planet is it acceptable to instill in such a small mind, such complex biases of hatred? It’s sad and despicable that this child doesn’t have a chance to form his own decisions, and it’s heartbreaking to think of the hateful environment that he is having to grow up in.