After former Hartford police Det. Robert Lawlor was found not guilty of manslaughter Tuesday, the sister of the young man he killed in 2005 confronted him.
Jashon Bryant's sister, Shirin, stopped Lawlor at the corner of Russ and Oak streets as he was escorted by a throng of officers to his lawyer's office. And then in one breath, it seemed, she let four years of emotion pour out.
Here are Shirin Bryant's words:
"All this time I never disrespected you, right or wrong? I say hi to your mother, your dad. I let you say hi to my daughter, everything. All this time you've been talking to my father — with no problem.
"That's my brother I had to see on that gurney with them two gunshot wounds in the back of his head, right, right? You never ever once said, 'I apologize for taking your family member.'
"You did not only mess up one life, and take one life. You messed up my family. You probably destroyed me for the rest of my life cuz what ya'll don't know is me and my brother was like this, me and my brother was like this.
"After that I don't even want to go to no family events because I don't have my brother. It was always us. And all this time, to me, in my eyes, you've been arrogant. You've been confident in yourself.
"Tomorrow is my brother's birthday. And I don't get to say 'Happy Birthday.' You get to go home to your family. You get to go home to them. You never once said, 'I apologize.'
"Even though you was a cop and you hid behind all that blue you still supposed to be a human being. If I would have hit you with my car I would have said, 'I apologize. It was an accident.'
"All that time you knew my brother didn't have no gun, no gun.
"Why couldn't you be a man and say I made a mistake?"
Lawlor, who until then quietly listened to the young woman sobbing before him, answered briefly. "No mistakes were made that day."
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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