The police shooting in Akron, Ohio is another consequence of young men being raised without proper fatherly guidance. Time after time we see young men resist police officers’ instruction and end up dead or seriously wounded. The tragedy is that almost every police shooting could have been avoided if the suspect had merely not resisted police officer instructions.

It is puzzling why so many young people resist arrest. Could it be that they are the victims of leaders telling them that all police officers are evil. It stands to reason that if one believes all police officers are evil then their commands should not be heeded.

At a recent Manatee County protest against gun violence, the founder of Women’s Voices of Southwest Florida was speaking using a megaphone that was emblazoned with the initials ACAB. For those of you who don’t tweet, ACAB stands for All Cops Are Bastards. We also had a Manatee County School Board member asserting at a board meeting that “America is a racist society”.

Rev. James Golden, Manatee County School Board, District 2.

These ridiculous assertions reveal the lack of sophisticated reasoning on the assert’s part. The tragedy is that many young people hear these statements and mistake them for facts. Later, when young people are confronted by police officers and ordered to cease certain behavior, they wrongly believe they can ignore the officers commands. Tragically this often results in the loss of life.

As a young man I was told by my father to follow the commands of police officers even if I thought they were wrong. The skin color of the officer did not matter. If I thought the officer was wrong I could argue the point at a later date. He told me that if I resisted the officer, there might not be a later date for me to argue the point.

Why is this common sense approach absent in so many instances? Could it be the lack of good father figures has left many young people deficient in essential life skills. 

I challenge our county leaders to instill in our young people a respect for our law enforcement officers. Teach our youth to give our police officers the benefit of the doubt and obey their commands when they are dealing with the officers. Teach them that obeying the officer does not prevent them from confronting the officer in the appropriate legal arena. This advice may save a life that could be needlessly lost.


Bob Spencer
Manatee Herald

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