While it is very, very difficult for me to process the death of my youngest brother, I choose not to place blame on the police department when they are simply doing the best they can given the circumstances in which they find themselves.
They are our protectors, our blue brothers and sisters, who place their lives in harm’s way every day, after day, after day. Their service to our community and our safety is being questioned, and that must be a very difficult place in which to work.
The national narrative at the moment is one of anti-police. I don’t agree with this narrative because I witness the goodness in the eyes of the many detectives I have talked to surrounding my brother’s death.
I have heard the details and the processes they have followed to ensure their actions are not only questioned but also scrutinized for future improvement. Standard investigations and inquiry are underway surrounding the shooting of my brother.
Until such time evidence is provided to me that wrongdoing had occurred, I choose to assume the best in people, particularly those trained and sworn to protect us.
I believe this local and national anti-police narrative stokes our collective fear to sweeping conclusions that many police shootings are unwarranted, senseless, and unjust.
I believe these divisive narratives have grains of truth shrouded and powered by those organizations that profit from our fear and instability.
Partially, we are responsible for the controversy, as we turn our TV eyes toward violence and sensationalized “news,” begin to believe that such violence is lurking around every corner, and grow bored when there is no drama to tune to.
We have become addicted to the drama and have begun to believe that the entertainment/news we watch and the loud talking heads are rooted in truth and honest concern to inform us.
Honestly, I, more than anyone, want to believe that my brother’s death could have been avoided; that another approach could have been implemented. But to blame our blue brothers and sisters for the painful results of my brother’s death is too easy an answer.
The answer that is true for me is this: We are all trying to make sense of this planet on which we find ourselves, we are all trying to navigate through this mystery, we are all uncomfortable with not having answers to seemingly unanswerable questions, and sometimes the most authentic response to the unknown is to admit that we are scared, that we sometimes wish that things were different, that we wish we had more control to what happens to us, and that only when we stand together in love will we find our way through these dark and chaotic times.
I love you, Abraham, my brother, my love. I miss you. I miss you. I miss you. I want you back on this Earth, swimming with my sons, holding my wife’s hand while watching movies, dancing with your nieces and building their play set, cooking breakfast with me, and simply seeing your smiling face one more time, just one more time.
Blame will not bring you back to me, but love, forgiveness, and understanding will give me the strength to keep walking through this short adventure and tough teacher we call Life.
Rest in peace, sweetheart.
Adam Smith lives in Tucson.