Letter: Man wasn’t bad person but was a person who made some bad choices 

Published 8:00 pm Wednesday, January 9, 2019

As the great aunt of Joseph Roberts, the young man who was shot and killed last week, I would like to share a message at the urging of my cousin who is still an Albert Lea resident.

If you could please pass along to the police officers involved that they are in my prayers daily, and I know this has affected them, too. Please let them know that I know this was not the outcome anyone wanted that day. I know it must weigh heavily on their hearts and minds, as it does ours. I am not mad at the situation, I am terribly sad. I am sad that we lost our nephew to the savagery of drugs at a very young age, I am sad that he couldn’t/wouldn’t break the addiction — not for family, not for his children, not for his unborn child or himself. I am sad that these synthetic drugs are available and cheap and so insidious once injected that it eats away at the user’s brain and turns them into someone who has lost all capability to reason, and become unstoppable in their actions. I am sad my nephew is dead, and I’m sad that the officers were faced with a terrible choice that day in the alley. I am sad for your community and the fear and anger that some are feeling. Our faith will sustain us, and we appreciate the outpouring of love and support we’ve received from friends and family and the faith community in Albert Lea. We know Joey had his demons, but we also remember the blue-eyed, curly-haired beautiful baby that lay on the floor next to me while I played with him, wondering what the world had in store for him. He wasn’t a bad person; he was a person who made some bad choices, choices that had terrible consequences. He was charismatic, funny and extremely charming when he was clean. He will always be loved. Our greatest prayer would be for all addictions to be wiped clean and to never again have a family have to lose a loved one to its awful clutches. While that may be an impossible dream, it is our dream nonetheless.

Kimberly Lang

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