Sunday, May 9, 2021

Balto. student charged with attempted murder


A student at Frederick Douglass High School in West Baltimore has been charged with attempted murder and ordered held without bond in connection with a September 17 assault he allegedly carried out on a fellow student who is a teammate on the school’s playoff-caliber football team, the Baltimore Sun reports.

WARNING: This video contains violent and graphic images.

The fight was captured on video and posted online, but the site that shows it does not report the number of views. The corresponding video on YouTube, which has been rejected for copyright reasons, reported about 6,000 views as of Friday night.

School officials were quoted as saying they had a normal day at Douglass on Friday, the day after the assault, which took place in the cafeteria. A football game has been postponed and counselors are available, should students feel anxious or afraid. Those feelings are to be expected, especially since the video has been posted.

“Living in urban environments also increases the risk of exposure to violence and one-quarter of low-income, urban youth have witnessed a murder,” writes the National Center for Victims of Crime. “Losing their sense of safety at this critical stage affects victimized teens’ struggle to integrate into and become pro-social members of the community; they may respond by displaying aggression, withdrawal, school problems, and various high-risk behaviors, including offending.”

Otherwise, though, perhaps it’s most disturbing, given that about a quarter of the students at Douglass have probably witnessed an actual murder, that a violent attempted murder seems almost routine and ordinary at the school.

Citing charging documents, the Sun reported that the victim was first accused of stealing a visor for a football helmet from the accused. Following punches to the head and face, the victim was knocked unconscious and suffered a concussion, facial cuts and bruises, a nose fracture, and swelling.

He will require surgery, according to the article, which said he was taken to Baltimore Shock Trauma before being transferred to the University of Maryland Medical Center for further treatment. He is expected to survive and was not named for the record.

Charged as an adult is Sean Johnson, 17, of Baltimore. No additional information about him was provided, except that the Sun noted that he had no lawyer of record listed in charging documents and that an attempt to obtain comments for the story resulted in a “no comment” from a woman who answered the phone at the number Mr Johnson had listed.

In April, the school, which boasts former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall as an alumnus, became the center of national attention as two students from the school were arrested in connection with riots that gripped the city for more than a day following the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray while in police custody.

Paul Katula
Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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