Well, it has been a crazy year for us all, but in the midst of all the madness, I was able to get my third book finished for my crime thriller series. Alone in the Woods will be published February 17. In the meantime, the audiobooks for the first two books in the series are available, and the paperback edition of All His Pretty Girls is finally an option in both the UK and the US, so despite everything, good things have also been happening for me. If you're interested, here's the link to my website where you can find the links to any of my books. https://www.charlycoxauthor.com Here's to a happier, brighter, and healthier 2021 for everyone!
I am not a political person and I avoid the news as if it were the plague. I don't talk about politics because I don't believe that I know enough to talk about it and if I'm being honest, my thoughts on politics gear towards anarchy. Having said all this, I cannot stay quiet about what is going on right now in America. Remaining silent means I condone the things the police are doing. Speaking as someone who has attended a program for people who plan on having a future in law enforcement, I don't agree with the way they are choosing to handle current events. And things are only getting worse. Now I'm seeing articles talking about how the police are taking up the Punisher logo, believing that this is a good idea. All this shows is how little they know about the Punisher, and his story. The Marvel comic book character the Punisher (a.k.a Frank Castle) represents a failed system, and while I don't disagree that our legal system is a disaster zone, it is not the kind of imagery police officers should want to associate with themselves. The Punisher is a violent and racist man who kills the people he deems wrong and has killed over 48 thousand people since he was created in 1974. Gerry Conway, one of the creators of the Punisher, has said that he does not like the police's use of the logo and the Punisher himself has told the police not to use his logo (Punisher #14, released July 10, 2019). When the Punisher comes across some police officers who see him as a roll model, he tells the officers the they are not the same. That the police took an oath to uphold the law and he had given that up. Police officers who wear this logo believe that it will inspire fear in the people. They believe it will discourage violence. Not only is it doing the opposite but it is also causing even more distrust. Police officers are supposed to protect, not this. They believe that people should fear them and they are wrong. You should not fear your protectors. The only people who should fear the police are real criminals, and they come in every color. They aren't just African Americans, and the way the police seem to target this community, as if they are the only ways who cause harm is appalling. It's terrible that the police don't appear to understand these things and that they aren't dealing with these issues correctly. While the president seems more interested in fanning the flame of hatred instead of trying to find a way to prevent anymore bloodshed and violence.
Dear Mr. Policeman You made my mom cry. She didn't know I was standing behind her. She was sitting on the couch watching the t.v. I was in my room and heard her saying no no no. So I went to see if she was ok. She was hugging the couch pillow and crying. She was crying really really hard. It scared me. I saw you on the t.v. Mr. Policeman. You had your knee on that mans neck. He kept saying that he could not breathe. Didn't you hear him? And how come you stayed on him for so long? Why didn't you listen? My mom was so so sad. It made me cry to see my mom like that. But I have seen her like that before. Like the day my dad went to prison and when my uncle was killed in that drive by on Crenshaw and when my granny died from cancer. My mom has cried a lot. I went to my mom and gave her a hug. She hugged me really, really tight. It hurt a little bit but it was ok because I'm strong. My granny use to always tell me that. I told my mom that it was going to be ok because God is watching over us. I asked her if she wanted me to pray. She said yes and hugged me harder. So I prayed. I prayed for my mom first. I asked God to stop the tears from coming and to help her to be happy again. Like she was before we lost our family. Then I prayed for all of the people who are crying because of what you did. And then I prayed for you Mr. Policeman. I asked God to help you. I asked him to help you to know that it is not right to hurt other people. I asked him to help you to know that we are suppose to love each other and to be helpful and kind. Then I asked him to help you listen. Mr. Policeman can you please listen next time? And can you please tell your policeman friends to listen too? Thank you photo- Santi Vedri on Unsplash
There was a knock on the door. It was sometime around 9 pm on a Sunday and none of us were expecting any visitors; especially at that time of night. My Aunt Ra'Shonda had spent the day with us: 8-year-old Lil' Sam, 4-year-old Vincent, 17-year-old Ziare, 14-year-old Chyna, my mother, and myself. We were all waiting on my step-father Big Sam, to get home with the projector screen to watch movies that night. It was all that he been talking about since he had brought the projector. My mother was upstairs in Vinny and Sam's room when the knock came. I was in my mama's room, probably messing in her bathroom. The details are murky; but the knock that came was clear. My Aunt was downstairs in the family room with Chyna and Sam, while Ziare was in his room with the door shut, doing who knows what. Vincent was sleep. But when the knock came, the whole house went on alert. My mama came from the boys' room still holding clothes, with the given order that, to whoever it was, she wasn't there. She had seen the car from an upstairs window, and didn't like the looks of it. So I ran downstairs only to see that Aunt Ra'Shonda had already answered. There were two people, a man and a woman, both wearing badges of some sort, and guns in holsters at their waist. They were clearly some kind of detectives. “Are you Da'Shonda?” The man asked when he had seen me coming down the steps. “We're homicide detectives here about Samuel DuBose. We're looking for Da'Shonda Reid.” Homicide detectives? Why are they here about Sam? Is he…? I quickly ran back upstairs, putting two-and-two together, that something must have happened to Sam; that something terribly bad had happened. My mama was in the boys' walk-in closet when she asked who it was. I told her they were detectives, but I couldn't bring myself to say that they were there for Sam. In that moment I didn't have to, because my mama asked, “Is it Sam?” And through tear ridden eyes, I could only nod my response. My mama quickly ran past me down the stairs to the detectives, who were now in our living room. “Da'Shonda?” they asked for clarification before proceeding. “Is it Sam, what happened?” My mama was sobbing. The sound of her cries pulled the whole house towards her. “Yes. Sam was shot and killed in an altercation with a police officer--.” The house stopped. Did he just say, police officer? “We see that he was a lot thinner than in his ID, was he ill? Or was there something going on that would make him want to commit suicide by police?” Suicide by police? “Naw he ain't do no ‘suicide by police.' If an officer shot him, I could tell you right now, he didn't do anything to deserve it.” My mama responded; angry at the implications of the question. Lil' Sam and Chyna had been listening from the top of the stairs, while I sat at the bottom of the stairs, closest to the living room. Ziare had come down from his room, and was now in the kitchen listening. “Daddy died?” Lil' Sam asked. Crying, I could only nod. I grabbed and hugged him while he cried tears in my arms. We all sighed that Vinny was asleep, but cried harder for when it was time for him to wake up—to no movie projector; to no daddy. The detectives sat and asked my mother a series of questions: when was the last time she spoke with Sam, the last time he was home, if he knew anyone nearby the area he was shot in, whose name the car was in… These sorts of questions went swirling through the air, mixing and mingling with the sounds of sobs, silences, and sniffles. Sam was gone. And though the detectives were right there telling us this, it wasn't real. We didn't believe it; couldn't believe it. Couldn't grasp the idea that the person we had been waiting on, wasn't going to show up; couldn't handle how we would tell the sleeping four-year-old that his daddy is dead, and that he never made it home with the projector screen. Couldn't understand how, so quickly, the murder of my stepfather, was being turned around on him. How he was never a victim, but an immediate suspect in his own murder. The knock on the door that changed our expectations for the night. The knock on the door that forever changed all of our lives. The knock on the door that punched us all with unbearable news. The knock on the on the door that you think, could never happen to you. The knock on the door with America's hidden truth: that when an officer kills a citizen, it is the victim who will lay accused.