My sister died last week. Frances died on October 6 after a battle with cancer. Actually it was her second death but her final death. She first died the day her son Joseph was murdered by a cop in Brazil in 2007. Fran never recovered from Joe’s murder. I don’t know that a parent ever fully recovers from the death of their child. Some are able to continue on, they find reserves of strength and hope and carry on. Fran couldn’t.
In Brazil there are 7 organizations of families that have had a child killed by the police. Imagine that! Across that vast country there are seven groups of mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, aunts and uncles that have organized to share their grief and turn their pain and anger into activism. Let’s imagine that we can safely say that for each child murdered by the police there are 10 family members devastated by their death. Let’s add another 20 people, friends, co-workers, neighbors, and family friends. 30 people forever damaged by the death and countless others in some form of pain.
In Brazil, 5 people a day are killed by the police, that’s 150 people today who’s lives will be changed forever. And how many mothers and fathers, sisters, brothers, aunts and uncles will die today because someone they loved was killed by a cop? As I write this there are 663 days until the Rio Olympics.
663 days x 5 people a day killed by the police = 3,315 people killed by the police in Brazil leading up to the Olympics
3,315 x 30 family and friends = 99,450 lives devastated by their loss, broken by their pain, dying that day when the person they loved was killed by a cop.
Rest in peace my beloved sister, your pain is over, but for some it has just begun.