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Added on Sat 17th Aug 2013 9:05am   Last edited on Sun 8th Sep 2013 3:42pm

Phoenix Ray

Posts: 28
Member since: 15/08/2013

My nephew, Gabriel...

When he was just a small boy, my nephew, Gabriel, came to live with us. He had stayed with us often before his mother finally abandoned him, and I convinced my husband that we should make it official. Unfortunately, Gabriel had already been exposed to much more than a young child should have. He was a very sweet boy, but would tend to get into trouble in school. As he grew up, he got into trouble with the law over silly pranks and minor incidents. I did my best to speak with him, and tell him that what he was doing was wrong and unneccesary. My husband, however, laughed it all of, saying he would grow out of it. We ended up divorcing, and this was one of the many reasons why. I lost contact with Gabriel, as he had stayed on with my husband. Gabriel continued his behavior, and ended up in jail for 7 years. After he got out, he called me and we spoke for a long time. He told me that he realized all that I had done for him as a child, and thanked me. I kept up with him as much as I could, and really believed that he had turned his life around. Two days after hearing about the birth of his son, I heard that Gabriel had been killed by the Clayton County, Georgia, police. To this date, the police have not given many details as to what happened. However, they claim that he was involved in a robbery, and resisted. He had been tazed several times. Witnesses say that he cried out that he had chest pains, yet he was taken to the police station, shackled, where he died in the jail cell 9 hours later.

My regrets are that I gave up contact with him many years ago. He was still a child at the time, yet I felt like I couldn't get through to him with my husband in the way, and I just gave up. On the other hand, I am glad we had our conversation. Had he died without my ever speaking with him again, it would have been much worse than it already is.

Added on Sun 18th Aug 2013 2:16pm   Last edited on Sun 18th Aug 2013 2:16pm

Janice P.

Posts: 37
Member since: 25/06/2013

What a tragic loss, Phoenix! I understand your regrets, but it does sound like there wasn't much you could do with your husband taking the attitude he did. He is the one who should regret not being a more positive impact on Gabriel's life.

It sounds to me like his death warrants an investigation. Has anyone attempted to push for that sort of thing? Maybe an attorney could be helpful. Police brutality is, unfortunately, a very real problem and they need to be held accountable.

Added on Sun 8th Sep 2013 3:42pm   Last edited on Sun 8th Sep 2013 3:42pm

Hester Prime

Posts: 27
Member since: 15/08/2013

Sad to hear that. I understand how hard and painful it was to lose someone you loved or cared for in such a tragic way. I also understand the guilt you felt, but don't blame yourself for everything. There were circumstances that prevented you from getting in contact with him. At least, you were able to reconnect before he met his tragic death.