Another tragic story involving a person of color. Simone Butler-Thomas is sadly burying her son, Koury Thomas, after a neighborhood watchman, Chad Copley, took his life last week after being mistaken as a “hoodlum.” Butler-Thomas, who is a New York native, left upstate in 2001 in hopes of a better life for her three children because she felt that Harlem would be too dangerous to raise them. Now as she begins the healing process and works towards getting the funds to bury her 20-year-old son, she speaks out, addressing the untimely death of her son. Check out a few excerpts.
On why her family moved to the South from New York:
They loved it. They were young at the time. We tried to come back to New York a couple of times, but they liked the South better — up until now. It was easy living, nice people. But not anymore.
On why she doesn’t watch the news and doesn’t consider herself an activist:
I’m not an activist or anything. I don’t watch the news because I’m tired of hearing about these boys getting killed.
On what she hopes to happen after the death of her son Koury:
I hope at the end of all of this he didn’t die in vain. If my baby’s passing can change laws to stop innocent people being killed, then let it be so. I can’t bring him back. I would love to change places with him. I’m heartbroken. I feel like somebody just ripped my heart out.
Copley, 39, has been charged with murder and if convicted could face life in prison. Butler-Thomas has made a GoFundMe page in order to pay for son’s funeral expenses.