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Charmaine L. Jones

In honor of Conte' Emanuel Smith-El Siblings Of Murdered Victims

I had a brother; he was murdered. His name is Conte’ Emanuel Smith-El. On December 19, 1992, a sweet baby boy was born. On October 30, 2017, my life changed, but for the worst. Three detectives knocked on my door and informed me that my brother was dead.

Two boys had come in where he was working and tried to rob him. He tried to get away and flee the situation. Instead of getting away, they shot him in the back seven times. The robbery and crime were captured on surveillance cameras. The cameras has audio, so we can see and hear everything. He was so caring. He loved everybody. He was so respectful. He was so loved. He would give you everything. Most of all, he stayed with a smile on his face. He felt more like my son than a little brother.

If I sleep through the night, I wake up in a panic. It’s the same time I got the knock at the door, 3:35 a.m. I started seeing things that weren’t there. Things like bats flying in the house or shadows coming out from the floor. I don’t answer my door anymore; I haven’t sat in my couch since that night. I just so happened to fall asleep on the couch that night I got the news. I started going to therapy because I thought I was going crazy. I was diagnosed with PTSD, depression, anxiety and was told that my body is in fight or flight mode.

I created a group called Siblings of Murdered Victims so we can honor our loved ones and keep their spirits alive. A place where we can come together and support one another through our grief. I thank God for my kids, and I know justice will be served. I feel so alone being the only kid left. A part of my parents died with my brother, and I pray for us daily. I try my hardest to cope with this pain and learning this new person I met when they took my brother away from me. Oh yeah, did I mention that they caught the two boys that killed him? We will never give up until justice is served. Thanks for giving me this platform to share my story and honor my brother.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.