The father of Sylville Smith, the criminal gang member who was shot and killed by police, has laid the blame for his son’s life and tragic death squarely where it belongs: himself.
At 23 years old, Sylville Smith’s criminal record shows a troubled young man:
In August of 2015, Smith was charged with felony intimidation of a witness. That charge was dismissed by prosecutors in September.
In July of 2014, Smith was charged with carrying a concealed weapon — a misdemeanor charge. He pleaded guilty in November, and was sentenced to serve one day in the House of Correction.
In July of 2013, Smith was charged with felony retail theft — intentionally taking $500 to $5,000 as party to a crime. Prosecutors dismissed the charge in October.
Fox 6 spoke with Patrick Smith, Sylville’s father who spoke candidly about his son’s death:
“What are we gonna do now? Everyone playing their part in this city, blaming the white guy or whatever, and we know what they’re doing.
Like, already I feel like they should have never OK’d guns in Wisconsin. They already know what our black youth was doing anyway. These young kids gotta realize this is all a game with them.
Like they’re playing Monopoly. You young kids falling into their world, what they want you to do. Everything you do is programmed.
I had to blame myself for a lot of things too because your hero is your dad and I played a very big part in my family’s role model for them. Being on the street, doing things of the street life:
Entertaining, drug dealing and pimping and they’re looking at their dad like ‘he’s doing all these things.’ I got out of jail two months ago, but I’ve been going back and forth in jail and they see those things so I’d like to apologize to my kids because this is the role model they look up to.
When they see the wrong role model, this is what you get. They got us killing each other and when they even OK’d them pistols and they OK’d a reason to kill us too. Now somebody got killed reaching for his wallet, but now they can say he got a gun on him and they reached for it. And that’s justifiable. When we allowed them to say guns is good and it’s legal, we can bear arms. This is not the wild, wild west y’all. But when you go down to 25th and center, you see guys with guns hanging out this long, that’s ridiculous, and they’re allowing them to do this and the police know half of them don’t have a license to carry a gun.
I don’t know when we’re gonna start moving. I’ve gotta start with my kids and we gotta change our ways, to be better role models. And we gotta change ourselves.
We’ve gotta talk to them, put some sense into them. They targeting us, but we know about it so there’s no reason to keep saying it’s their fault. You play a part in it. If you know there’s a reason, don’t give in to the hand, don’t be going around with big guns, don’t be going around shooting each other and letting them shoot y’all cause that’s just what they’re doing and they’re out to destroy us and we’re falling for it.”