Author Topic: Baltimore Homicide Victim #289  (Read 103 times)

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Mutumbo000

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Baltimore Homicide Victim #289
« on: November 06, 2017, 08:25:59 am »
+3
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-op-1105-homicide-289-story.html

"Someone shot and killed my nephew last month in Park Heights. He was 26.

Like so many other black Baltimore families, I guess it was our turn to huddle outside of the entrance to Sinai Hospital’s emergency room. To look through Justin Fenton’s Twitter feed for confirmation or scroll through the comments of @murder_ink_bmore’s Instagram posts for a hint of wtf happened.

He is murder #289 in the City of Baltimore.

He had just gotten out of jail in July.

Yeah yeah… He could’ve — should’ve really turned it around…

Born to a closet addict in the ‘90s, he landed as a newborn in a rented room off of North Avenue behind the Baltimore City Public Schools headquarters, and in later years was raised by his mother's friend on Castle Street and North Avenue, surrounded by vacant houses. North Avenue is a major corridor that runs west to east through the entire city, and in the ‘90s, nowhere along that road was safe or decent to live.

With lead-infused blood and attention deficient disorder, he was barely literate graduating his zoned elementary school (the ADD pills made him feel sluggish).

Housing agency pays $6.8 million to lead paint victims
By middle school, his mother, who never looked like she struggled with addiction, had died from complications of HIV and a mother figure had died from what appeared to be diabetes. He was now in and out of juvenile group homes, therapy sessions and youth programs.

From selling water and candy up and down East North Avenue, he was promoted to selling weed.

I’m his second cousin. His mother and I were first cousins. He and I adopted the term “aunt” to describe me because it was easier to say “aunt” than give the long explanation as to why and how we were related. Also “aunt” had both authority as well as an endearing nature, as if he was being cared for by his mother’s sister, the next best.

By the time he landed with me while attending his zoned Baltimore City public high school — after stays with other extended family members in more stable home environments and neighborhoods — there was no inspirational chat left that could reach him, no mentor who could connect with him, no amount of new clothes or fresh kicks that could make him feel brand new.

Beleaguered city residents call for peace and solutions to Baltimore's surging crime
Park Heights is where he found his crew — a community among the other lost men and addicts. Like many other regions of Baltimore City, there are large portions in the community of Park Heights (21215) that are socioeconomically depressed. Those areas should be considered third world: a (drug) war zone.

With a forehead tattoo obtained in his late teens, trademark braids, stints in and out of jail, and a long criminal record, his commitment to Zone 15 was sealed. He operated within the blocks of vacant housing and corner stores in Park Heights as a menace to police, unreached by social programs — simply hustling, laughing, drinking, popping pills, smoking and selling weed; picked up, locked up, on probation. Repeat.

Death was a constant factor. Along with the death of his mother and maternal figure, two of his closest neighborhood friends were killed in ‘09 and ‘10 along the Garrison and Liberty Heights corridor. I believe he was present (running for his life) for at least one of those killings. A few years ago he was beat down and left for dead along Liberty Heights and Gwynn Oak, in the space next to the vacant theater across from ShopRite. In addition, another childhood friend was locked up for murder in 2014. That is not including all of the other young men living in Northwest Baltimore City that he may have known who are now dead.

My nephew/cousin was good-natured, light-hearted, funny and forgiving — and high energy, from the time he was a boy. Despite a record (two whole pages on the Maryland Judiciary Case Search website), he did not harm anyone that I know of and was not known to tote a firearm. He just wanted to survive. He was gentle enough to sleep on the couch or in the basement of many friends and older adults who trusted him in their homes for a night or two. Although he was routinely kicked out of my house or his sister’s home, he was still an active and loved family member. We slid him a 20 or necessities if we could. On cold nights we let him stay. He was an uncle/friend to his nephews, picked up his son on occasion after school and had a girlfriend. He was asked to be on time for family functions.

Some days he looked high.

The last time we saw him he looked good.

He just got out of jail in July.

Yeah yeah… He could’ve, should’ve really turned it around…

No excuses… It’s his own personal choice… But…

Yes, he was given a second chance — but not the opportunity.

Who would be willing to legally employ someone with a face tattoo, and a lengthy record without a GED or diploma? Mistakes made as a teenager.


Where do you go when you want to change but burned all of your bridges with family?

Helping ex-offenders stay out of prison
With this last jail stint, exhausted — I just couldn’t do it anymore: be that cheerleader, show up for the counseling sessions, be the contact for his probation, pay for cell phones and research training programs.

I wonder if there really is a clear path of social programs and housing programs that could have assisted with his redemption, especially when he got out of jail. What do you do when you made mistakes in your youth, and are now entering adulthood and in need of a pathway to turn it around?

Jeez — he didn’t kill anyone; he sold weed. Had he been rich, white and lived in Hampden, he could’ve opened a dispensary. Had he lived in the Midwest, the president would have called it all a crisis.

Where do you find hope if your every day is surrounded by vacant housing and addicts?

Were the ADD meds, weed, alcohol and pill popping a direct result of being born from an addicted mother or raised in lead-filled housing?

A menace, my nephew. But he represents our young black brothers, cousins, boyfriends, fathers (he leaves behind a 5-year-old son) — the part of Baltimore, very poor, left behind and Un-Revitalized; Un-Gentrified.

A menace.

He was #289 in a murderous year in Baltimore. Where is the outrage? The benefit concert?

Where are the mental health organizations to assist with the trauma associated with living in a war zone?

In jail or out of jail, chained to mistakes you made as a youth because — why?

Is that a way to live?

Antwan Lamont Bond, #289.

We love you as you are.

You did the best with what was given to you by this great city of Baltimore.

Now we’ve got to do better".


Tragic. The system is failing and needs to be reformed. Imagine if Baltimore spent all the money they spent on incarcerating people on getting them education and most importantly meaningful employment. Too many people are falling through the cracks and are destined to a lifetime of poverty and unemployment for mistakes they make when they were teenagers/young adults. How can people be surprised that drugs and crime is endemic when the whole society is living in misery and hopelessness. It's not a popular opinion but my solution would be harsher penalties for crimes because everyone can agree that "if you do the crime you do the time". However, the carrot in my solution is that once people do their punishment they are given a clean slate (the courts will keep their records in case they reoffend and for sentencing purposes) but their criminal record as far as employers go is effectively expunged. The only exception I would have to that is for sexual predators/pedophiles.  Currently the system works by giving someone a slap on the wrist and a criminal record, which pretty much prevents them from ever obtaining a decent job so instead of doing the crime and doing the time they are getting lifetime punishments.

Just my thoughts.



 
"IMO, It didn't happen if it's not on vid/official"- adarqui

It's easier to keep up than it is to catch up...

adarqui

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Re: Baltimore Homicide Victim #289
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2017, 06:16:02 pm »
+1
Tragic. The system is failing and needs to be reformed. Imagine if Baltimore spent all the money they spent on incarcerating people on getting them education and most importantly meaningful employment. Too many people are falling through the cracks and are destined to a lifetime of poverty and unemployment for mistakes they make when they were teenagers/young adults. How can people be surprised that drugs and crime is endemic when the whole society is living in misery and hopelessness. It's not a popular opinion but my solution would be harsher penalties for crimes because everyone can agree that "if you do the crime you do the time". However, the carrot in my solution is that once people do their punishment they are given a clean slate (the courts will keep their records in case they reoffend and for sentencing purposes) but their criminal record as far as employers go is effectively expunged. The only exception I would have to that is for sexual predators/pedophiles.  Currently the system works by giving someone a slap on the wrist and a criminal record, which pretty much prevents them from ever obtaining a decent job so instead of doing the crime and doing the time they are getting lifetime punishments.

Just my thoughts.

Your thoughts are good intentioned, our Prison Industrial Complex is not...

If these people are rehabilitated, or their records are eventually expunged, that's less $$ for the people who run private prisons, state prisons, or politicians who get kickbacks keeping them fully populated. That would also mean there's less of a chance for their children to goto prison eventually, and that's bad news for the PIC. The rates of recidivism are extremely high for a reason. The US is not like most countries who would rather keep people out of jail, the US is constantly trying to maintain its ability to put more people in jail. Sure, do the crime, do the time. But a massive portion of our prison population is in there for non-violent crimes.

The system doesn't really work by giving people slaps on the wrist though .. maybe white collar criminals, but not minorities & people in poverty. I mean people are getting serious time for small crimes, such as mandatory minimums for small time drug offenses/drug possession. There's also 3 strikes laws in several states, you can get life in prison for your third offense, even if that's three grand larcenies of a tricycle.

Was going to post some articles but, need to head out.

TLDR - until we get a majority of "honest leaders", our problem (mass incarceration + recidivism) won't change. There's tons of organizations, people, businesses etc who really make a difference, but it's a small dent in an enormous problem, that comes right from the top.

peace!!!

Mutumbo000

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Re: Baltimore Homicide Victim #289
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2017, 05:46:21 am »
+1
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15IzEQauBHU" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15IzEQauBHU</a>
"IMO, It didn't happen if it's not on vid/official"- adarqui

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Mutumbo000

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Re: Baltimore Homicide Victim #289
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2017, 05:50:57 am »
+3
I wrote to the author of this article as the paper left her contact details at the bottom. This is the email I wrote to her:

"Dear Sunny,

I just wanted to offer my condolences for your nephew. I read your article in the Baltimore Sun and you did a great job of describing the challenges Baltimore and its citizens face. I found your article brilliant and it was great to see a story about a person instead of them just being another statistic. 

The line that particularly struck in your article was:
 
"Yes, he was given a second chance — but not the opportunity.
Who would be willing to legally employ someone with a face tattoo, and a lengthy record without a GED or diploma? Mistakes made as a teenager".


Sadly even if Antwan had no face tattoo, had a GED, and even a college degree he would still be unemployed. What jobs can you even do with a criminal record? Rehabilitation and most importantly giving people the opportunity to gain meaningful employment is paramount if Baltimore and the USA is to reform. People make mistakes. One mistake or even a couple of mistakes made as a teenager should not destine someone to a lifetime of poverty and unemployment. Unfortunately that's the case that we have in the USA with the current system. People say "do the crime do the time". That's fair. However, what is not fair is discriminating that person for a lifetime and discriminating them from ever having opportunity of employment. Is it any wonder that they turn to alcohol, drugs or even crime when society has essentially excluded them.

Personally I think this is where a lot the issues stem from. Education is an issue but in reality what incentives do people have of incurring huge debts for education when the reality is they will never be able to work as a teacher, nurse, lawyer, doctor etc. and utilize the education!? In your nephew's case the fact that he was barely literate is a tragedy but that just goes to show the failings of the current education system. How can somebody succeed when the system all around them is failing. The USA loves their rags to riches stories and creating the impression that everyone has equal opportunity and anyone can become the President etc. The reality is that the rages to riches stories are few and far between and most people are trapped in their environments as social mobility (along with American society) is continually in decline.

Once again thanks for sharing your story and hopefully it helps people open their minds and realise the issue is far from black and white.

Kind Regards,
Michael Lutz"

She actually took the time out to reply back to me, which was really nice of her!!!

"Mr Lutz,
If your preach’n, I will be choir director!
Amen, Amen, Amen!
I’m gonna give you another Amen!

I havta get through all of these emails.
But know that your email really stuck a cord a cord with me.  I’m flagging it.

People are trapped in a Caste system here under the myth of an opportunity society...
This kids make one mistake and doomed...

Thank you for this!
-sun"

"IMO, It didn't happen if it's not on vid/official"- adarqui

It's easier to keep up than it is to catch up...

adarqui

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Re: Baltimore Homicide Victim #289
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2017, 09:29:55 pm »
+1
I wrote to the author of this article as the paper left her contact details at the bottom. This is the email I wrote to her:

"Dear Sunny,

I just wanted to offer my condolences for your nephew. I read your article in the Baltimore Sun and you did a great job of describing the challenges Baltimore and its citizens face. I found your article brilliant and it was great to see a story about a person instead of them just being another statistic. 

The line that particularly struck in your article was:
 
"Yes, he was given a second chance — but not the opportunity.
Who would be willing to legally employ someone with a face tattoo, and a lengthy record without a GED or diploma? Mistakes made as a teenager".


Sadly even if Antwan had no face tattoo, had a GED, and even a college degree he would still be unemployed. What jobs can you even do with a criminal record? Rehabilitation and most importantly giving people the opportunity to gain meaningful employment is paramount if Baltimore and the USA is to reform. People make mistakes. One mistake or even a couple of mistakes made as a teenager should not destine someone to a lifetime of poverty and unemployment. Unfortunately that's the case that we have in the USA with the current system. People say "do the crime do the time". That's fair. However, what is not fair is discriminating that person for a lifetime and discriminating them from ever having opportunity of employment. Is it any wonder that they turn to alcohol, drugs or even crime when society has essentially excluded them.

Personally I think this is where a lot the issues stem from. Education is an issue but in reality what incentives do people have of incurring huge debts for education when the reality is they will never be able to work as a teacher, nurse, lawyer, doctor etc. and utilize the education!? In your nephew's case the fact that he was barely literate is a tragedy but that just goes to show the failings of the current education system. How can somebody succeed when the system all around them is failing. The USA loves their rags to riches stories and creating the impression that everyone has equal opportunity and anyone can become the President etc. The reality is that the rages to riches stories are few and far between and most people are trapped in their environments as social mobility (along with American society) is continually in decline.

Once again thanks for sharing your story and hopefully it helps people open their minds and realise the issue is far from black and white.

Kind Regards,
Michael Lutz"

She actually took the time out to reply back to me, which was really nice of her!!!

"Mr Lutz,
If your preach’n, I will be choir director!
Amen, Amen, Amen!
I’m gonna give you another Amen!

I havta get through all of these emails.
But know that your email really stuck a cord a cord with me.  I’m flagging it.

People are trapped in a Caste system here under the myth of an opportunity society...
This kids make one mistake and doomed...

Thank you for this!
-sun"

whoa nice! awesome that you sent Sunny your thoughts AND awesome that Sunny replied!!

good stuff man!

:highfive:

always feels good when you get a response.. also feels good from Sunny's perspective, receiving a thoughtful message like that.

peace!

Mutumbo000

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Re: Baltimore Homicide Victim #289
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2017, 06:36:02 am »
+1
I wrote to the author of this article as the paper left her contact details at the bottom. This is the email I wrote to her:

"Dear Sunny,

I just wanted to offer my condolences for your nephew. I read your article in the Baltimore Sun and you did a great job of describing the challenges Baltimore and its citizens face. I found your article brilliant and it was great to see a story about a person instead of them just being another statistic. 

The line that particularly struck in your article was:
 
"Yes, he was given a second chance — but not the opportunity.
Who would be willing to legally employ someone with a face tattoo, and a lengthy record without a GED or diploma? Mistakes made as a teenager".


Sadly even if Antwan had no face tattoo, had a GED, and even a college degree he would still be unemployed. What jobs can you even do with a criminal record? Rehabilitation and most importantly giving people the opportunity to gain meaningful employment is paramount if Baltimore and the USA is to reform. People make mistakes. One mistake or even a couple of mistakes made as a teenager should not destine someone to a lifetime of poverty and unemployment. Unfortunately that's the case that we have in the USA with the current system. People say "do the crime do the time". That's fair. However, what is not fair is discriminating that person for a lifetime and discriminating them from ever having opportunity of employment. Is it any wonder that they turn to alcohol, drugs or even crime when society has essentially excluded them.

Personally I think this is where a lot the issues stem from. Education is an issue but in reality what incentives do people have of incurring huge debts for education when the reality is they will never be able to work as a teacher, nurse, lawyer, doctor etc. and utilize the education!? In your nephew's case the fact that he was barely literate is a tragedy but that just goes to show the failings of the current education system. How can somebody succeed when the system all around them is failing. The USA loves their rags to riches stories and creating the impression that everyone has equal opportunity and anyone can become the President etc. The reality is that the rages to riches stories are few and far between and most people are trapped in their environments as social mobility (along with American society) is continually in decline.

Once again thanks for sharing your story and hopefully it helps people open their minds and realise the issue is far from black and white.

Kind Regards,
Michael Lutz"

She actually took the time out to reply back to me, which was really nice of her!!!

"Mr Lutz,
If your preach’n, I will be choir director!
Amen, Amen, Amen!
I’m gonna give you another Amen!

I havta get through all of these emails.
But know that your email really stuck a cord a cord with me.  I’m flagging it.

People are trapped in a Caste system here under the myth of an opportunity society...
This kids make one mistake and doomed...

Thank you for this!
-sun"

whoa nice! awesome that you sent Sunny your thoughts AND awesome that Sunny replied!!

good stuff man!

:highfive:

always feels good when you get a response.. also feels good from Sunny's perspective, receiving a thoughtful message like that.

peace!

Thanks brother  :highfive:
"IMO, It didn't happen if it's not on vid/official"- adarqui

It's easier to keep up than it is to catch up...