(In this message, Kevin Russell, Joplin, talks about the night of March 17, 2013, when his daughter, Brooke, died. The Brooke Russell Memorial Facebook Page can be found at this link.)
Six months ago, my family and I went through a horrible tragedy. We found my 16-year-old daughter with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Dealing with the death of my daughter has been beyond difficult and especially the way she died. I was in a forgiving mood the next morning from the Joplin Police Department mistakes, but then I read the police reports three weeks later and literally started shaking as to what they said.
Not only that, I then learned that the police called my son’s recruiting sergeant and told him that my son was unfit to serve. (That policeman later called me and told me that was procedure, however Lane Roberts, the police chief, later told me IF that was standard procedure it was news to him and it would not happen again)
My son was supposed to be deployed to Afghanistan days after my daughter’s death, but it was called off due to the tragedy. This is a brief recollection of what happened that terrible night.
We called 911 speeding to the hospital. They told us to go the police station where there would be an ambulance waiting. My son and I placed my daughter in the ambulance and backed away.
An EMT turned to us to ask what happened. At that moment, my daughter fell off of the gurney, I screamed, then the EMT pointed his finger in my face and screamed at me to calm down while never turning or tending to my daughter. My son was standing next to me, being quiet and not moving. Then my son and I were pepper sprayed, locked up for three and a half hours (we were told we would be released in 20 minutes and were being charged w/ disturbing the peace)
My daughter died at the hospital while my son and I were chained to a bench.
My wife was there alone.
They charged my son and I with assault, obstruction, and disturbing the peace. I thought for sure everything would be dropped since I only screamed. It has been months and the prosecutor now wants to charge me with assault and (have me) take anger management counseling. I do not have anger issues. The police and EMT filed crazy reports. I’m going to turn to the media to tell this story. Many supporters recommended that I do that and so I am.