It is regrettable that retired former State Representative Jeffrey Evangelos continues a crusade to reactivate the investigation of the 2007 police shooting of Gregori Jackson. He states that, “Maine has never held a police officer accountable for a shooting, even when the victim is unarmed. The score is 188-0, all justified. It is shameful.”

As reported by Stephen Betts in The Courier-Gazette: “The Sept. 23, 2007, shooting occurred after a traffic stop on Friendship Road in Waldoboro. Then reserve Officer Zachary Curtis determined Jackson, a passenger in the car, violated bail conditions on prior charges of operating under the influence and failure to stop for an officer, police said. The alleged violation was Jackson had been drinking.

“When Curtis tried to arrest Jackson, the (18-year-old) youth resisted and was pepper-sprayed by the officer. Jackson ran down the road and then into the woods, pursued by Curtis.

“The officer claimed Jackson resisted arrest and the teen struck Curtis with a log. Curtis further claimed Jackson got on top of him, was trying to choke him and then put his hand on the officer’s gun.”

Jackson was then fatally shot in the ensuing fight. This is tragic, but it indicates a complete disregard for the law and disrespect for our police by young Jackson. It is against the law to resist arrest. It is unlawful to violate the conditions of a bail agreement. And unlawful drinking underage and resisting arrest was what prompted his being on bail in the first place.

At the very least, kids are supposed to respect adults. Parents expect respect from their kids, and they are supposed to respect their teacher in school. Why doesn’t that apply to respecting adult police officers? How can we maintain a civil society when there is no respect for our police and the law?

Our police, appointed by our elected officials, are entrusted with the task of ensuring public safety, protecting life and property and enforcing law and order. We must support them in this mission and respect them for the risks and potential dangers they face on our behalf.

We cannot constantly undermine them with this defund the police movement, targeting, intimidating and undermining them with flagrant disrespect, cashless bail, soft-on-crime district attorneys, and “arrest diversion programs” for juvenile offenders. This has turned many of our major cities into hellholes of crime. Small town and rural Maine is not inner city Baltimore, Minneapolis, or Philadelphia. It will be if our kids continue thinking they are a law unto themselves.

David Reed