To the People

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Baltimore Beat

Local hacker and extra for The Wire, Homicide, The Corner, as well as movies including Ladder 49, Head of State, and Oceans 11, was fatally shot in the head. Peter Hermann in the Sun:
He died April 15 like too many others in Baltimore - by homicide. He was shot in the head while sitting in a car in East Baltimore, and police said they believe he was working as an unlicensed cabdriver, a "hack," scraping up a few dollars here and there delivering people who can't afford taxis in the city.
Probably more to this murder than a simple robbery. But it brings about a question I've had since I moved to Baltimore --- Do most cities have the number of "hackers" that Baltimore does? On most corners on the west side of downtown you can always find someone signaling for a hacker. I don't think I've noticed it as much in other cities...

Family barbecue, Baltimore style:
A 20-year-old with the intelligence of a middle-schooler was sentenced Wednesday to 6 1/2 years in prison for the voluntary manslaughter of another man during a brawl at a family barbecue that began over a PlayStation video game.
Like I did when I first read this opening paragraph of the article, you're probably thinking two things. 1) The convicted murderer is mentally retarded; being as how the Sun reporter described him as "A 20-year-old with the intelligence of a middle-schooler". And 2) The fight must have been over a stolen or lost video game. Both good guesses, both wrong.

We'll first start with the fight:
Wherley said that shortly before midnight on July 3, 2006, Reginald Dorsey and Keon Dorsey got in a fight with their cousin, Roger Burks, over allegations of cheating on the video game. Guests made several efforts to break up the fight, including throwing ice water on Burks, who was drunk.


At some point, one relative, a woman, was thrown through a window. Another relative, Brandon Gray, intervened, choking Burks until he nearly lost consciousness. Burks then stabbed Gray several times in the stomach. When Conley moved to intervene, Burks fatally stabbed him four times, hitting the carotid artery.
That's quite the backyard brawl. I'm guessing they weren't playing Tiger Woods '09...

More on the killer and all around dumb guy:
Burks' multiple lies and behavior also helped build the case. In one interview with police, Burks denied knowing his own mother. And on the night of the killing, he took off his blood-soaked jeans in the back of a patrol car and threw them out the window.

Judge Rasin, who accepted Wednesday's plea, said she did so relying on several medical evaluations, the contents of which are sealed. But Rasin said a doctor concluded that Burks suffered from a long list of behavioral disorders, including "borderline intellectual functioning," though he was not mentally ill.
So not clinically retarded, just plain old retarded. I don't really have anything to add to this, other than to take the opportunity to say that if Obama has his way he wants to create even more black inner-city youths that have the intelligence of middle schoolers. Way to be brave and not kick the tough decisions down the road for future generations Obama.

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