Coping With the Holidays as a Crime Survivor
Through the holiday season, victims of crimes, family members, friends, and colleagues may re-experience life-changing traumas through flashbacks, nightmares, and overwhelming sadness. The holidays may bring new or returning bouts of depression, panic attacks, feelings of displacement, and other forms of anxiety for individuals who have been affected by tragedy. Grief may become even more intense.
Though there are no rules to follow regarding how to “get through” a holiday, the Coping with the Holidays resource provides a number of suggestions from survivors on how to manage grief at this time of year.
I simply can’t think of anything more insulting than this: the Department of Justice, the very agency that’s responsible for letting thousands of public servants get away with Color of Law crimes that victimize tens of thousands of us (some for decades, and some to death), is offering us advice on how to cope during the holidays with their ongoing intentional infliction of emotional duress.
There’s no need to take a poll on how unusually cruel this is.
There’s no need to call Gary Bennett’s family and ask if they are interested in holiday assistance from the DoJ on coping with their facing the holidays in the knowledge that Gary’s frame-up – identical to scores of others in Brevard County, FL and elsewhere in the nation – will have a 32nd anniversary next month.
And no need to track down Darren Rainey’s brother to ask him if he is interested in holiday help from the DoJ on coping with the third Christmas of having no justice for Darren’s horrific scalding death at the hands of Dade Correctional Institution officers.
And no need to message Davontae Sanford’s mother to ask if she wants holiday help from the DoJ in coping with her half-bind, developmentally delayed son remaining framed with a Detroit police coerced confession, more than seven years after one of the actual participants in the quadruple “hit” – Vincent Smothers – confessed and named his accomplice.
There’s no need to contact the victims of excessive force that I communicate with who aren’t incarcerated. They aren’t going to be interested in “help” from the DoJ, either.
Nor is it likely that another victim of poisoning ignored by police will be any more eager for DoJ holiday assistance than I am.
If the DoJ wants really wants to help crime victims get through a holiday without “flashbacks, nightmares, and overwhelming sadness” and “new or returning bouts of depression, panic attacks, feelings of displacement, and other forms of anxiety,” it will prosecute public servants’ Color of Law crimes, retroactively and rapidly. DoJ prosecutions for Color of Law Crimes won’t raise people from the dead who wouldn’t have died if justice was swift and sure … like Richard Mair, who committed suicide because he was unable to endure any more violence and abuse at Dade Correctional Institution the year after officers killed Darren Rainey, or the wrongly executed, like Gerald Stano and Linroy Bottoson, whose frame-ups were related to Gary Bennett’s.
It would be fitting and proper for Loretta Lynch to work with Barack Obama in launching a War on Color of Law Crimes, offering perpetrators – including governors and feds – a six month amnesty period during which to admit the harm they’ve done to earn house arrest and partial asset forfeiture, avoiding federal incarceration and complete asset forfeiture. It’s so fitting and proper that it’s self-evident … again, no poll necessary.