GODFREY, IL – A guilty verdict will not bring back Blake Snyder. But the family of the fallen police officer hopes it will encourage others to do good or, as Dick Snyder put it, “Be Like Blake.”
“A simple kindness for somebody. When you go to the grocery store and you check out,” he said. “Legitimately thank them for their service for helping you out that day.”
The Snyder family sat down with Fox 2 to discuss the verdict in the murder trial of Trenton Forster.
Forster shot and killed Snyder, 33, as he was responding to a disturbance call in south St. Louis County in October 2016.
February 8, 2019, a jury found Forster, now 20, guilty of murder in the first degree. The crime carries a punishment of life in prison.
Peggy and Dick Snyder recall their reaction when the verdict was announced.
“Everybody was crying. There was no whooping and hollering, ‘yay’ this is wonderful.’ None of that. That’s not the emotion we felt. It was sadness,” Dick Snyder said.
For Peggy Snyder, one of the most notable aspects of the trial involved hearing the testimony of her son’s encounter with the defendant.
“It makes my heart ache when he approached the car. He said, ‘Hey Buddy.’ He could have helped. I think he could have been a big help. To help that young man,” she said.
The Snyder’s are hoping that aspect of Blake’s character will be carried out.
“Blake was very thoughtful just helping people,” his brother, Adam, said. “You never know what that one kind gesture can mean to someone else.”
Peggy Snyder echoed those sentiments, encouraging others to think about their purpose in life, regardless of their profession.
“What is your calling. What is God calling you to do? What difference is calling you to make?” she said.
The Snyder’s said many people, including strangers, have reached out to them in the days since Blake’s passing to relay heartwarming stories. Many of them involve Blake reaching out to assist others, and not just in his capacity as a police officer.
Dick Snyder said that approach can brighten a person’s day, and make a difference.
“In a restaurant. Washing your car. Just reach out a bit. Because that’s what Blake would do. And I think if there’s a message I would give to other police officers, to his friends, to others who never even knew him. It’s be like Blake.”
Forster will be sentenced in April.