I’m a teenager living in Williams Lake who was arrested a few months ago for possession of a prohibited weapon near a high school and private properties.
I and some friends of mine were hanging out and they asked so I showed off my butterfly knife.
I didn’t know it was a prohibited weapon.
Someone saw us and reported us, thinking there was someone in trouble.
We all were wearing hoodies, so I guess the person thought we looked like we were in some kind of gang.
The cops came and asked us if we were packing a knife and we said no. We lied, thinking that if we got caught we would be in big trouble.
It turns out that lying about it got us in more trouble.
We were searched and I was caught and arrested.
My parents were called and told about what happened.
My parents were upset, especially my mom, because the butterfly knife belonged to her brother (my uncle) who is deceased.
She had this knife in her possession for many years and was keeping it as a heirloom.
She told me not to take it out of the house. I feel bad that I lost it on her.
When I spoke to the police and the volunteers at criminal justice, they helped me see how it looked from the caller’s point of view that when you see teens hanging out in an alley wearing hoodies and one has a knife, the worst thoughts come to mind.
As we spoke, I finally realized how bad things could have turned out.
If a gang came along and saw us there in a group with a knife in view, they could have started a fight.
I understand how my actions can and may have influenced my friends into packing a knife.
They even tried to lie for me. I could have gotten them into trouble with me. I’m glad I didn’t.
I’m writing this letter to apologize to all the people who my actions have involved, which would be to my parents, the police, criminal justice volunteers, my friends, the people in the neighbourhood who I may have frightened.
I’m sorry for my actions and have learned from my mistakes.
Name withheld by request.
Editor’s note: This letter was written by a participant of the Restorative Justice program. The writer’s name has been withheld because it is a condition of writing and publishing the letter.
The Tribune doesn’t typically run unsigned letters to the editor but makes a special exception for the program.