Why do I smoke? I smoke because it helps me cope. I smoke because cops kill dogs. I smoke because I help the families of those dogs. I smoke because I feel their grief and their rage. I witness the horror and misery as they are often handcuffed and beaten and forced to watch and listen as their dogs die shrieking in agony and thrashing around in a pool of blood. I watch as neighbors and friends are prevented at gun point from helping the dog. I watch as the families fall apart. I watch them get divorces, I watch them turn to alcohol and drugs, I watch as they pull up stakes and move away from the horror that follows them. I watch as they struggle to pay vet bills for the ones that do survive.
I smoke because I feel their frustration and anger when nobody will help them. I smoke because lawyers won’t take their cases; because city officials ignore them; because the cops are almost never held accountable. I smoke because those we elected to speak for us refuse to help; because I feel the helplessness and despair of the victims. I smoke because it helps me control my rage as I watch cops lie in the face of incontrovertible video proof; as I watch their supervisors support them in their lies. I watch as they collapse in grief, cradling the body of their slaughtered pet.
I smoke because I feel their pain when they have to watch their little girl’s leg get shattered by a bullet from a cop trying to shoot a dog; because they are struck in the head by an errant bullet and get permanent brain damage. I smoke because I feel the pain of the man and child who watched their wife and mother die from being shot by a hysterical terrified cop trying to shoot their dog.
I watch. I feel. I grieve. I rage. I smoke.