Police officer who has become friends with the ex-gang leader who shot him in the back reveals he ‘never hated him’ because he didn’t want to spend his life being angry is praised by This Morning viewers
A police officer and the man who shot him revealed on This Morning how they ended up striking an unlikely friendship.
Leroy Smith, a former drug dealer, shot two constables when they asked to search him near The Atlantic pub in Brixton, Sud Londra, nel mese di marzo 1994.
Firing three shots, he shot James Seymour in the back and his colleague, Simon Carroll, in the leg.
Leroy was sentenced to 25 years behind bars for the crimine, and encouraged by his partner at the time, he decided to pen a book relating the lead up to the incident.
Seymour decided to read the book, and told hosts Dermot O’Leary and Alison Hammond it led him to contact Leroy and the two men to become friends.
He added he never hated Leroy for shooting him and did not want to spend his life in anger and resentment.
Viewers were touched by the moving story uniting the two men and praised Leroy for turning away from crime and starting a new life.
Former drug dealer Leroy Smith, left and police officer James Seymour revealed how they became friends after Leroy was sentenced to 25 in jail for shooting the cop and his partner in 1994
Viewers were moved by the amazing story of redemption of forgiveness united Leroy and James
‘James contacted my IT person,’ Leroy said. ‘At first I was nervous and anxious, but we agreed to meet at a train station. I apologised.
‘And from there we built up a friendship and it’s led on to do talk on LBC radio, working with some gang kids in LA, California, tv, BBC interviews and all of this is building up momentum and helping us push the word out.
‘It’s a story of redemption that’s second to none,’ Ha aggiunto.
James said he forgave Leroy for both their sakes.
Leroy said he was nervous about meeting James after being released from prison and wiritng a book about his life of crimes
‘I looked at it first and Leroy served 87 per cent of his sentence, which is a lot,’ Egli ha detto.
Reflecting on the time he was shot, Egli ha detto: ‘Leroy could have easily killed us both. He had more than enough time and the means to do it. He shot us to stop us and that’s what he’s achieved,
‘I just thought that after 20 anni dispari, bitterness and anger, it’s not doing you any good.
‘I never hated Leroy because it wasn’t personal, but I took the positive out of it rather than the negatives.’
Leroy also opened up about how his prison sentence and friendship with James changed his perception of the police.
'Quando ero più giovane, I used to hate police, I was conditioned in my environment to think that way around and now I have no issue with police whatsoever, I don’t get stopped or harassed or anything,’ Egli ha detto.
James said he did not want the rest of his life to be filled with anger and bitterness and could tell Leroy was genuine
‘If you concern yourself with your own life, the chance of having negative a experience with the police is going to go down to nearly zero if you lead you life in a positive manner.’
Viewers were touched by the pair’s unlikely friendship.
‘What a story! This shows the strength of human forgiveness. We need more stories like this on the show. Real stories of violence and forgiveness,’ uno ha detto.
‘That was so wholesome, Leroy is a great example to all young people that it’s never too late to make a positive change in your life,’ ha detto un altro.
‘Can’t say I was impressed with Leroy’s previous way of life. But always admire anyone that can turn it around & use it help others. Well done to the police man for his mindset & contribution too,’ un altro ha scritto.
Viewers were impressed with Leroy and James’ story and priased the former drug dealer for turning his life around
Leroy and James now work together to influence younger generations of Londoners at risk of being involved in the violence which had such a devastating impact on both of their lives.
Leroy said of his 25-year sentence for the crime: ‘High-security prison is very violent, everybody’s still on ‘gangster mode’.
‘When I came out the second time, my ex-partner really got my mind opened and thinking, it’s because of her that I made it.
‘She was challenging me about some things and making me look at [altri] differently.’
The book was what led to the unlikely friendship between the two men starting up.
James ha detto: 'Ho deciso, what have I got to lose? And I just read it.
‘I found out about his life, his mum getting murdered, where he was brought up [e] the temptation of dealing drugs.
‘And I don’t care what anyone says, a lot of black people have been discriminated against because of their colour and it still goes on.
'Ho pensato, for people to go and get educated, get a real decent job and earn the same sort of money it takes years and you’re facing prejudice as well.
‘I can see why young kids get involved in crime and I understood that with Leroy.
‘That was the challenge for me understanding what happened.’
With that James decided to take the next step and actually meet him.
Leroy chose a train station for the pair to meet, as he feared the whole thing might be a ruse to get revenge.
Egli ha detto: ‘I was very scared. I picked the train station because it’s quite public and busy, so it’s hard for anyone to do anything to me there.’
The feelings of trepidation were shared by Mr Seymour, although he was not concerned for his safety.
James ha detto: ‘I was nervous. [ho pensato] was I doing the right thing? Did he genuinely want to redeem himself? And was he genuine?’
But from the moment they met both were assured of the other’s intentions, James said he could tell straight away that Leroy regretted what he did.