Out of the Box - The Story of Leroy Smith: outoftheboxbook.uk

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Out of the Box - The Story of Leroy Smith: outoftheboxbook.uk

Out of the Box - The Story of Leroy Smith: outoftheboxbook.uk

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Out of the Box is the powerful and revealing story of Leroy Smith, a reformed ex-convict who was sentenced to 25 years’ imprisonment for shooting two police officers in Brixton in 1993. The average person is nice and people are cool with you. I know people in Handsworth and other places. I knew Burgers, Johnnies in prison got on with all of them.

Mr Smith’s book about his life was read by the former officer he shot, who reached out and said he wanted to meet with him.As part of this session, new recruits are shown and then discuss a video featuring former Met police Constable James Seymour who was shot by Leroy Smith while on duty in 1994. That, he said, was outweighed by the positive responses he also gets from colleagues and the public. He is now a public speaker and mentor and helps stop young people turning to crime and has worked with LA gangs on gang prevention initiatives. I can stand in front of kids and tell them I learned the hard way. I have been through all these different situations, all these different scenarios, and it has taken its toll. Leroy played keyboards in the Manchester soul band who had a number one hit with Sad Sweet Dreamer in 1974.

I never hated [Leroy], I certainly didn't like him. But I didn't hate him because it wasn't personal. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.” As he was travelling across the Atlantic his prints were being pulled from the weapon in Brixton. Not only that, his accomplice had been captured and was giving evidence against him.

You start smoking weed when you’re like 13 and crime is everywhere. You start supporting [that habit] and everyday living with petty crime and that escalates.” Things took a more serious turn after he started carrying a gun. “One one occasion I pulled it on somebody as a joke and I was totally surprised at the fear in the person and the power that I felt. This was a turning point in my mindset.” Leroy fired another shot which hit me about a centimetre away from my spine, ripped across the top of my kidney and ripped out the side of me,” he said.

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