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Freddie Gray doesn't deserve a memorial

I was somewhat taken aback by some phrases in your editorial on the mural commemorating Freddie Gray's death that stuck out as if the writer were speaking of a memorial dedicated to the likes of Martin Luther King Jr. or Rosa Parks ("A memorial for Freddie Gray," June 11).

I don't claim to be a civil rights historian, but I do know who the black community should be putting on a pedestal and memorial, and Mr. Gray is not one of them.

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The site was described as a "calming influence" in relation to a man who was a convicted drug dealer and part of the drug problem that led to the degradation of his neighborhood.

His daily actions did nothing to calm the neighborhood. The corner where he sold his drugs your writer now calls hallowed ground, but the shootings and drug dealings still go on in the area.

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Your writer also states that the people in the neighborhood who visit the site "take pride in their neighborhood," yet it is because of the likes of Mr. Gray that there was so little neighborhood pride.

Also, the editorial referred to the memorial as a protest against a "dream deferred," but what dream did Mr. Gray have, except to get up and sell drugs in his neighborhood?

We should stop treating Mr. Gray like some kind of martyr. I'm sorry he died that day, but he shares some of the blame for his death. It was only a matter of time for people who choose a criminal lifestyle, whether they fall victim to other criminals or to the criminal justice system.

Those who live by the sword die by the sword, and Mr. Freddie Gray lived his life everyday on the sword's edge.

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L. Averella

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