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Why We Should Respect The Privacy of Families Involved in Tragedies

Bob Joseph/WNBF News

This week a tragedy occurred in Johnson City that left two families without their patriarchs.

Greene resident, James Clarke inexplicably shot and killed Johnson City Officer David Smith outside Southern Tier Imaging on Monday morning. Clarke was shot and mortally wounded by another responding officer.

There are many questions, the biggest being “why?” As the investigation began, the families asked for privacy. Who can blame them? Our thirst for knowledge is not as important as the space the families need to grieve and and adjust (if there is such a thing) to their new realities.

On one hand, there is the wife and child of Officer Smith, an 18 plus year veteran. His job was dangerous, yes, but I doubt something like this was ever expected.

On the other, the wife and child of the man who killed the Officer. There was no indication of any tendency towards this behavior. Everything seemed normal as Clarke left for work. Now the family has to deal with his actions and his passing.

Put yourself in their shoes. Have you ever lost a family member? You know, under normal circumstances how devastating it is.

I firmly believe that the media and “gawkers” should legally not be allowed near the families of people involved in tragedy without an invitation. But that’s just my opinion.

There will be answers at some point in the investigation, until then, pray for peace for the families or keep them in your thoughts.

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