An 18-year-old who gave a presentation to the Baltimore City Council last year in support of anti-violence initiatives, himself was fatally gunned down in the city last Saturday.
The victim, DaVonte Friedman, was involved with a local organization called Community Law In Action (CLIA), Raekwon Conaway, its program manager of leadership development and advocacy, told The Huffington Post. Friedman participated in CLIA’s 2017 summer leadership institute, a six-week long “training intensive program” for high school students, Conaway added.
The summer program is part of CLIA’s mission to help “develop young people to be leaders and to advance positive community change through public policy,” according to its website.
DaVonte’s brother, Tyrone Friedman, told CBS WJZ-TV that his brother wanted to “see more done in the community.”
“He just turned 18 on the 26th of November – and died on [December] 1st,” Tyrone Friedman said. “He wanted to see more done in the community for himself and other kids like him.”
“I lost a piece of me,” he added, according to CBS WJZ-TV.
In an email, the Baltimore Police Department told HuffPost that no arrests have been made and that the case has remained open since Thursday evening. On Saturday, police shared a media advisory on Facebook reporting a number of citywide shootings, including the one involving DaVonte Friedman.
In responding to the shooting, officers found a 25-year-old man suffering from a gunshot wound to the leg while an 18-year-old and an “adult male” were also found at the same location with fatal gunshots wounds, and were “pronounced deceased,” the release read.
Thinell Turner, Friedman’s mother, told The Baltimore Sun she is “proud” of her son for standing up for young people.
“He knows the struggles youth go through,” Turner said, according to The Sun. “He wanted [city leaders] to give youth a chance. I was very proud of him for the change he made.”
Bright Future Cut Short
Conaway took to Facebook to share a photo of Friedman taken when he gave the presentation to Baltimore council members Zeke Cohen and Kristerfer Burnett on reducing violence in the city last summer. “Throughout the entire day, DaVonte was so nervous about the presentation, but when we got to City Hall, he knocked it out the park!” Conaway wrote on Facebook, according to HuffPost.
Conaway said he was “really impressed” with Friedman after reading his definition of leadership – “to listen, to inspire and to empower” – in his application to join the 2017 summer program, adding that Friedman showed “perseverance” in wanting to do better for himself, HuffPost wrote.
“He recognized that though he did have some rough encounters in his past, he would not allow them to define who he was and what he wanted to do,” Conaway told the news site.
He pleaded on Facebook for city youth to stop the violence.
“On Saturday, DaVonte was shot and killed,” he wrote on Facebook. “We can’t do this anymore. There can’t be other DaVontes. We have to end the violence. DaVonte had a bright future ahead of him.”
Source: Entertainment – The Grio