Come Home Safe | Brian G. Buckmire


Come Home Safe by Brian G. Buckmire

Coming February 7, 2023, from Blink by HarperCollins; 208 pages.

Content Warnings: Police brutality, racial violence, racism

About the Author: “Brian G. Buckmire is a senior staff NYC public defender in the Criminal Defense Practice and Homicide Defense Task Force at the Legal Aid Society, representing indigent clients in Brooklyn, NY. He is the anchor for Law and Crime Daily, a nationally syndicated show covering the hottest cases and controversies from courtrooms nationwide. He is also a legal contributor for ABC and has covered events like the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd, the trials against Harvey Weinstein and R. Kelly, and many more. In addition, he serves on the board of trustees for Coney Island Prep, a charter school in South Brooklyn. Born in Toronto, of Caribbean heritage, Brian, his wife Victoria, and their son Reid live in New York” (From HarperCollins Blink website). 

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“‘But the reality is, I don’t have time to wait for the world to become safer for my children, so I have to have this conversation with you now.’”

Fourteen-year-old Reed and twelve-year-old Olive’s dad taught them what to do during encounters with police, but they didn’t think they would need to use his advice. The first half of the book follows Reed’s encounter with the police. One day on the subway, the police stopped Reed because he fit a suspect’s description. He followed his father’s advice, but it wasn’t enough because he was still put in handcuffs and couldn’t defend himself. The book’s second part follows Olive’s story of dealing with the police. A white woman accused her of stealing her phone, and the police didn’t listen to her account of the situation. It was not until Reed and Olive’s white mom showed up that the police listened to their story.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and liked how the author applied his law background and included tips for dealing with the police, like always carrying a bright-colored wallet and keeping it in your left pocket so that the police can quickly tell what it is. The plot is fast-paced, and I finished the book in one sitting, which is unheard of because I get easily distracted and bored. 

The two siblings are brilliant and stick by each other no matter the situation; after Reed’s experience, Olive read law textbooks to better understand the police and how to deal with them. My siblings and I are like them because we would do anything for each other. It was heartbreaking to read how they felt during and after the alarming situations. For example, the police detained Reed because he did not narrate his actions when reaching for his soccer ball off the subway seat. 

This book is a must-read. I grew up thinking the police would do anything to help people, regardless of skin color, but that is not the case. This book has relevant and needed themes in today’s age. I would definitely read another book by Buckmire.   

PRR Writer, Kelly Marry