A photo of a little boy giving the middle finger to a Springfield, Massachusetts, police cruiser has gone viral (video below).
The photo shows a little boy giving the middle finger to a police car, WGGB reported. It was first shared on Facebook, and the user who posted the photo has since deleted their profile.
According to a local blog, it was the boy’s father who taught him to give the middle finger to police officers. The photo sparked outrage among law enforcement and activists alike.
“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,” Sgt. John Delaney, with the Springfield Police Department, told WGGB. “And there are 400 other police officers in the city of Springfield that would do the same.”
Activists marching in Springfield on July 10 said this type of behavior only hurts their cause.
“I think that just shows bad parenting,” Chico Dusty said, according to WFXT. “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.”
The march was organized by Michael Gibbs. It was in response to the deadly shootings of Alton Sterling in Louisiana, Philando Castile in Minnesota, and five Dallas police officers.
“It’s basically to unify the black community,” Gibbs said. “We’re trying to find answers and solutions to police brutality.”
Springfield police say they’ve received overwhelming support from the public since the Dallas shootings.
“Over the last week, we’ve seen an outpouring of support from the public,” said Delaney.