Tuesday, August 6, 2013

An Appeal to Law Enforcement

     "Sometimes the strongest people are the ones who love beyond all faults, cry behind closed doors and fight battles no one knows about."                                                      Author Unknown

     How true for those of us who have lost children.  Especially in cases of a traumatic death when there is no resolution and no one person, product or event is held accountable.  Everyone's circumstances are different, but often there are common threads.

     I would like to make a personal appeal based on my circumstance and to which, I'm sure, many of you can relate.  I am asking law enforcement officers, district attorneys, medical examiners and EMT'S to not casually brush off families' questions and concerns.  Decisions which seem trivial or insignificant, or even knowingly wrong to you, result in a lifetime of anxiety and anger, even mental torment, for a parents who have lost children.

     Let me give you two examples.  The detective investigating my son's death refused to do a gunshot residue test on the young woman who was there with Chris.  He cited their inaccuracy.  More likely her father's political connections influenced this.  And the medical examiner called me the day after Chris died.  I was still in shock and wrestling with the question of how I was going to tell my very ill husband, who was in a nursing home, that our son had died.  He asked me if I wanted Chris' clothes sent home.  All I could think of was these blood saturated garments which was more than I could bear looking at.  He offered to burn them and I stupidly agreed.  Later I found out he had no permission from the police to do this and as such had destroyed evidence.  Again her father's influence.

     What I am saying to all those in the criminal justice system, what seems minor to you, for whatever motivation, can result in a lifetime of unanswered questions and mental torment for parents and families.  I hope this is something which those of you who have this decision making power will be aware.  I don't want one more parent to go through what I have been through.


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