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Teach your kids to value life

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On May 21, 2018, the state of Maryland was stunned. A Baltimore County Police officer was murdered in the line of duty. Officer Amy Caprio was murdered investigating a burglary reported in a single family neighborhood in Perry Hall. The death of Officer Caprio sparked a massive manhunt that shut down the area and put multiple schools on lockdown. On the morning of May 22, 2018, Maryland breathed a sigh of relief that the suspected murderer and the suspected associates were all in custody. Dawnta Anthony Harris Jr. was apprehended and charged with 1st-degree murder. The 16-year-old was the lookout and getaway driver for three other individuals as they were robbing a house. The three others were all minors.

There was no shortage of stupidity arising out of this tragedy. Almost all of it coming from the Black Lives Matter crowd. They seek justification where there is none. The neighbors were right to call the police. BCPD was right to investigate a burglary. Officer Caprio was correct to have drawn her weapon. She was justified in discharging her weapon. She did not deserve to die.

The statement of probable cause shows that Dawnta Harris admitted that he partially opened the door, following the officer’s orders to exit the vehicle, but then shut the door and drove at the officer. For a split second, it seems, the value of life was pondered before being discarded. I wonder was there also a moment of consideration before he went down the path that has led to being charged with First Degree Murder.

A rational person knows that life has value: both yours and others. A rational person would not commit burglary because the consequences of getting caught far exceed the rewards of the heist. A rational person would not attack a police officer confronting their minor criminal activity. Is the result of going down for burglary and theft worse than disposing of the officer and reaping the rewards of the robbery? No rational person would think so. These teens do not recognize the value of life, so the Baltimore County Police Department lost a life due to their irrational actions.

How did four individuals wind up in this situation? Being minors, why were they not in school? The first and most likely answer is the parents or lack thereof. In Dawnta Harris Jr.’s case, this prediction is clear. A quick search on Maryland Judiciary Case Search shows that his father has enough experience with the law to be a paralegal. Dawnta Harris Sr. has numerous encounters with the law and some serious convictions that indicate he was a heroin dealer. If this type of parent is raising kids, it’s no wonder the value of human life was so muddied.

And certainly, the mother isn’t innocent even if she was doing most of the work. At some point in time, a parent needs to instill in their child the value of human life. Every parent of these kids failed. This wasn’t one mistake. This was a consistent pattern founded on a premise that diminishes the value and potential of human life. Life is too precious to throw away by running with a bunch of thugs. Life is too precious to steal a Jeep. Life is too precious to waste on a life of crime. These four teens have potentially thrown their lives away, and for what? A couple hundred dollars worth of other people’s stuff. We need to teach our kids that other people’s lives are worth more than that, and so are theirs.

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