Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Riots vs. Justice

     I am very angry and upset by recent riots, looting and stealing in the face of what demonstrators, (many not even from the mid-western community), believe was a young man unjustly shot by a policeman.  I am angry because, perhaps, like many of you, my son's killing was never solved.  I further believe that there was police and medical examiner misconduct involved.  This is something that has greatly interfered with my healing and produced much inner turmoil.

     I certainly haven't gone out and burned and looted the town where he was shot, not that I wouldn't like to.  I became even more upset when I looked up some statistics.  Every year in the U.S. around 6000 (SIX THOUSAND) murders become cold cases.  Someone who is somebody's minor or adult child was killed and justice, in effect, was denied.

     Six thousand victims of murder who got no justice, no demonstrators, no riots, no national media attention, no national organization or national political attention and certainly no organizations to pay for high priced lawyers and forensic experts.   In Ferguson, Missouri outside demonstrators admit they have no jobs.  Yet, they have flown in from New York and California and need housing and food once they arrive in Missouri.  I wonder who is paying their expenses.

      I express my sympathy to the parents and loved ones of the young man who was shot.  They should be allowed to grieve in peace.  But outsiders have descended upon their town and the lawyers and the media have gotten carried away further inflaming the situation.

     The demonstrators have expressed:  No Justice  No Peace.  How much more rioting, looting, burning, rock and molotov cocktail throwing will there be if the police officer is exonerated?  Have we become a nation of anarchy?  I would have liked some individuals fired for how they handled my son's investigation and the mayor of the nearby town criminally charged for his undue, corrupt influence over the police and medical examiner and obstructing a police investigation.  Of course, this didn't happen.

     What if each of these 6000 victims' families decided to start a riot to express their dissatisfaction with the failure of police to solve their loved ones' cases.  Imagine how fast they would be arrested without political advocacy and financed demonstrators and experts. When I went to talk to police about what happened to my son, I disagreed vehemently with their findings.  There was no transparency that I could see.

     I had to pay for a private investigation into my son's death which did not agree with the police investigation.  The private investigator, a retired FBI agent, told me I could spend all my time, energy, and resources to convict my son's killer.  He was of the opinion since evidence was tampered with and missing and the chief witness was lying and well connected politically, I would never be successful.  I had no money to pay for internationally known forensic experts to do further investigations.

     I believe my son's murder will be solved one day because someone out there knows something.   He or she will eventually talk out of guilt or to get themselves off in another crime.  My son was a victim, but I have refused to become another victim.   I pray everyday for truth and justice for Chris.  I have tried to go on with my life and honor Chris' memory and life with my children's books.  I dedicated the first one to Chris and he is in both books.

     The point I am making is the criminal justice system fails to serve far too many of us.  No matter our discontent or despair, we did not break the law or sew the seeds for others to do so.  We haven't gotten national attention or political advocacy and intervention even though our children are no less deserving.  Their deaths were just as heart wrenching.

      I believe God sees everything.  I would not want to be any one of those persons involved in my son's death and subsequent cover-up and then face God on judgement day.  Some six thousand killers a year face the same fate.  Divine justice shall be their retribution.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

A Glimmer of a Whisper

     I am convinced within me and you is a tiny glimmer of life or light no matter how bad we feel.  One of my favorite sayings is, The Voice of Life is soft, so we must listen hard."  I could not find the author, yet is very appropriate to you and me--- we who have been surrounded with death and the loss of our children.

     But if you and I are to journey through grief,  we must search for that whisper of a voice or glimmer of a spark of life within us.  Maybe you are feeling dead or numb inside, but if you are reading this, a spark has glimmered within in you or a whisper has spoken to you no matter how briefly.  Perhaps it is the voice of my child or your child trying to speak to me and you to give us courage to go on.  To go on with life and in so doing honor him or her.

     Of course, you and I wish our lives were different.  One thing I have learned, so far on my grief journey, is you cannot reverse life's events.  I know I can only live presently with who or what I still have.  I am trying to move forward with a different life with writing and traveling and being with extended family and friends.

     Will my life or yours ever be the same as before?  No.  Can life again be meaningful and positive?  Yes.  Will there always be pangs of wanting the old life with our children and doubts filled with what if's and if only's?  Yes.  Then this is is the time to search for that whisper or spark of your child's spirit and go on.   Ask him or her to help you.