Fallen cop should make us be better

Blake Snyder may be gone, but he can teach us a valuable lesson.

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I didn’t know Blake Snyder. I feel like I got to know him today too late. He was a 33 year old cop with a wife and two year old kid. Cute, right? Blake was shot and killed this morning when he responded to a disturbance call in Affton. An 18 year old shot him point blank as Blake got out of his squad car, voicing the young man to show him his hands.

This is just terrible. Blake served St. Louis County police for four years and had a two year old son that won’t have a fucking clue why dad isn’t coming home tonight. In case you forgot or don’t have kids, two years old is when a kid starts to recognize, download, and capture every thought and reaction. They start to get it. I can’t imagine the pain and torment swirling through the Snyder home right now.

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Death has zero fucks to give about your personal situation. It lands down and takes, and leaves before you can file a complaint. It’s a real son of a bitch. Right now, his wife is having to plan a memorial, funeral, and other things that she didn’t plan on this week.

Blake got up this morning thinking it was just going to be another day at the office. Strap on the badge, put on the gun, and protect and serve a little. He won’t go home tonight.

We live in such a violent, cruel, and unforgiving world with enough cynicism and hate to fill a galaxy. When are we going to come to grips with ourselves and the ability to end life? It’s a disease that is spreading. It has nothing to do with white and black and everything to do with right and wrong. White and black lives matter. All life matters. 

Do me a favor and try to be less cynical tomorrow when you wake up. If you have to be cynical, do it in the afternoon and evening briefly. Cut that shit away. Hug your kids. Shake a friend’s hand. Kiss your loved ones. Smile more than frown. Do something happy. Go to bed with a sentimental vibe. Look around. Appreciate the time. Some don’t get enough of it. Some barely get any at all.

It’s okay to be sentimental, folks. It basically means you are allowing yourself to be optimistic. We need more of that and less of the killing thing.

The difference between a smile and a sad face is a mere decision to make it that way.

Blake Snyder wasn’t a perfect man. There’s a fair probability that he could be a real asshole on occasion and maybe even perform some practical jokes. He was also a good man who, according to his chief of police, liked helping people and that is why he became a cop in his late 20’s and not his early 20’s.

There’s no doubt that I look at this painful tragedy and think of my own situation. I am a 34 year old man, one year older than Blake. I will be 35 in February. I have a wife and a five year old son. Over a decade ago, I applied to be a St. Louis County police officer. I aced the written tests. Passed the physical and the video analysis. I never heard back from them. I didn’t become a cop and instead entered the warehouse industry and eventually, writing and radio. I will be home with my family tonight.

Blake will not and that really screws me up. I sit back and imagine what his son is thinking. I imagine what Vin would think if I wasn’t coming home. During our 20 months in Arkansas, Vin and I became closer than ever. We did everything together. We were two peas in a pod. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Best friends. Allies.

I can’t leave without Vin asking where I am going. I can’t return home and touch my front door without  a massive hug from Vinny. He needs his dad. I need him. Separating that cord is a scary thought. I can’t stop thinking about that today. The “What if” game….is a mindfuck.

Let’s all try to be better tomorrow. Less violent. More forgiving. Smile more. Frown less. Be more sentimental than cynical. The world has cynicism for days.

Rest in peace, Blake. I didn’t know you but I’ll try to be better from here on out.

Author: D. Buffa

A regular guy who feels a journalistic hunger to tell the news. I blog because its wired into my brain to write what I think in print. I offer an opinion. A solo tour here. Take regular stories and offer my spin on them. Sports, film, television, music, fatherhood, culture, food, and so on. Commentary on everything. A St. Louis native and Little Rock resident who wants to write just to keep the hands fresh and ready.

2 thoughts on “Fallen cop should make us be better”

  1. Great article. Really hit home here as well. Couldn’t image not making it home to see my bud.

    Thanks for writing and sharing. Now I am grown man crying in his cubicle in a moth ball factory. Thanks for touching that emotion. Continue to move forward. So product and impressed with you and your unrelenting passion.

    Need to come by one night or weekend and swim with Vin Man.

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