On Monday, WFXT reported that a picture of a very young boy giving an officer the middle finger has gone viral. Citing a report at WGGB, WFXT said that a local blog claimed the child was taught to do this by his father.
Sgt. John Delaney of the Springfield, Massachusetts, Police Department responded sharply.
“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,” he said. “And there are 400 other police officers in the city of Springfield that would do the same.”
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Activists say that the type of behavior displayed in this photo can harm their cause. Crowds of people joined together in a peaceful march to the federal courthouse in Springfield.
“I think that just shows bad parenting. That doesn’t represent anybody for the whole race or for our cause,” Springfield resident Chico Dusty told the local Fox affiliate. “Just because we come together in protest, don’t mean that we’re against all police officers, just the ones that abuse their power.”
WGGB said that officers are receiving “tremendous support” from the community.
“Over the last week, we’ve seen an outpouring of support from the public,” Sgt. Delaney said.
Here’s a video report, courtesy of WFXT:
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