Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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Letter to the Editor

Raised to respect the law - A crowd about to riot?

I am not, nor ever have been a law enforcement officer. I cannot speak with expertise as to the techniques used when picking up these  "children" who were handcuffed.  However, having watched the videos posted on your site as well as several others on YouTube, as a layperson I didn't see anything that I would deem excessive.

Read the article: Lake City Florida: Police harking back to a bygone era - When will it change?

What I saw was a group of LEOs surrounded by what looked to me like a crowd about to riot.  The crowd did nothing but shout accusations of police brutality…none were visible onscreen.  As to the officer who drew his weapon, it looked like he had it unsnapped from his holster and covered with his hand to secure it in case he needed to draw it.  With the poor video quality it’s hard to see what is going on.

What this looked like to me was a riot scene, where parents, grandparents and friends alike encouraged others to shout at officers of the law who were called out to a disturbance that they created and allowed to escalate.

When I was growing up I was raised to respect the law.

I know that there are those people who will claim that these officers deserved no respect.  I don’t see any evidence of that.  In fact at one point, an officer rests his hand on the shoulder of a bystander and sort of pats it as if to offer support or condolences. I would want condolences if I lived in a neighborhood where no one has respect for anything or anyone.

Obviously, these officers were called out for a reason. To shout that they are children, when none of the people cuffed looked like a child… There is currently a twelve year old on trial in Jacksonville for murder. Should he have been allowed to remain at large in the community simply because he is a child?  Children pursue childish activities.  If you choose to act like a grown thug, then you should be treated accordingly.

A huge problem in society now is that we turn a blind eye to those who are troublesome and disrespectful, then when we are tired of it and ask the law to step in, we cry foul.  You can’t have it both ways.  If there is a certain faction, regardless of race, that cannot abide by the basic tenets of polite society, then that faction should reconcile themselves to the fact that there is another faction that quite simply is disgusted with their antics and will use whatever legal means are available to ensure that our quality of life should remain “quality”.

*Name withheld by request


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