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Father of Sylville Smith: ‘When They See the Wrong Role Model, This Is What You Get’

Patrick Smith, father of 23-year-old Sylville Smith, the man shot and killed by a Milwaukee police officer Saturday, had plenty to say about his son’s death.

Sylville Smith fled from police Saturday during a traffic stop, but was armed with a handgun that has since been recognized as a gun stolen back in March. Smith was ordered to drop his weapon, but did not comply and was eventually shot by a black police officer in the arm and chest.

Patrick Smith called for change in the wake of his son’s shooting, asking black role models, including himself, to stop doing things like dealing drugs and pimping because the black youth is following suit. He blamed himself for the death of his son in part because of his own history with the law.

Transcript of Smith’s statement as follows:

“What are we gonna do now? Everyone playing their part in this city, blaming the white guy or whatever, and we know what they’re doing. Like, already I feel like they should have never OK’d guns in Wisconsin. They already know what our black youth was doing anyway. These young kids gotta realize this is all a game with them. Like they’re playing Monopoly. You young kids falling into their world, what they want you to do. Everything you do is programmed. I had to blame myself for a lot of things too because your hero is your dad and I played a very big part in my family’s role model for them. Being on the street, doing things of the street life: Entertaining, drug dealing and pimping and they’re looking at their dad like ‘he’s doing all these things.’

I got out of jail two months ago, but I’ve been going back and forth in jail and they see those things so I’d like to apologize to my kids because this is the role model they look up to. When they see the wrong role model, this is what you get. They got us killing each other and when they even OK’d them pistols and they OK’d a reason to kill us too. Now somebody got killed reaching for his wallet, but now they can say he got a gun on him and they reached for it. And that’s justifiable. When we allowed them to say guns is good and it’s legal, we can bear arms. This is not the wild, wild west y’all. But when you go down to 25th and center, you see guys with guns hanging out this long, that’s ridiculous, and they’re allowing them to do this and the police know half of them don’t have a license to carry a gun.

I don’t know when we’re gonna start moving. I’ve gotta start with my kids and we gotta change our ways, to be better role models. And we gotta change ourselves. We’ve gotta talk to them, put some sense into them. They targeting us, but we know about it so there’s no reason to keep saying it’s their fault. You play a part in it. If you know there’s a reason, don’t give in to the hand, don’t be going around with big guns, don’t be going around shooting each other and letting them shoot y’all cause that’s just what they’re doing and they’re out to destroy us and we’re falling for it.”

Court records show Sylville Smith had a lengthy history with police, having been charged over the last three years with felony retail theft, carrying a concealed weapon, felony intimidation of a witness/person, first degree recklessly endangering safety and one misdemeanor count of possession of THC.

(h/t Fox 6)

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