Author: René F. Najera, DrPH

I'm a Doctor of Public Health, having studied at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. All opinions posted here are my own, of course, and they do not necessarily reflect the opinions of my school, employers, friends, family, etc. Feel free to follow me on Twitter: @EpiRen

Aside

Back in 2017, I received a message from one of the automated bots I’ve deployed to the web to look for information for me to consume. As I was working on my doctoral dissertation on homicides in Baltimore, one bot reported that a firebombing had occurred in Baltimore, killing two teens.

The main suspect in that firebombing (and a shooting at the same location a few days before that) was Mr. Antonio Wright, a 27 year-old Black man. After being named “Baltimore’s Public Enemy Number One,” Mr. Wright turned himself in to the authorities. Throughout his arrest and trial, he continued to assert that he was innocent.

A few weeks ago, Mr. Wright was found not guilty on all counts. Because of his background and this incident, Mr. Wright was advised by his lawyer to move out of the area, start anew somewhere else:

“Wright lived not far from where the firebombing occurred, and even closer to where he was found shot Friday. Brown said he and others had urged Wright to move away from the area after his acquittal. Some of Wright’s friends had been fatally shot in the area. But recently, Brown said he spoke to one of Wright’s friends, who told him Wright still frequented the neighborhood. “He had a lot of potential. He really did. But he couldn’t remove himself from the hood. And that’s not unusual,” Brown said. “That’s the life he chose.””

Indeed, the life he chose exposed him to violence, placed him in violent situations, had him arrested and charged for a violent crime, and, ultimately, ended his life

“Baltimore police said a man was found unresponsive and suffering from gunshot wounds just after 11 a.m. in the 1200 block of Bond St., in the Oliver neighborhood of East Baltimore. He was later pronounced dead at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Brown said that man was Wright. He said he had spoken to Wright’s mother on Friday afternoon. Wright’s family could not immediately be reached.”

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