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Ray Lewis' memoir covers racism, Atlanta killings and difficult upbringing

Ray Lewis said he was treated "worse than any dog" when he was arrested and jailed in Atlanta while a suspect in the murder of two men after Super Bowl XXXIV on Jan. 31, 2000.

Ray Lewis said he was treated "worse than any dog" when he was arrested and jailed in Atlanta while a suspect in the murder of two men after Super Bowl XXXIV on Jan. 31, 2000.

In his memoir, "I Feel Like Going On: Life, Game, and Glory," released this week, Lewis says he was mistreated by correctional officers — and Atlanta police — and compares his experience to the present-day interactions between police and blacks that have drawn national attention, including in Baltimore, where 25-year-old Freddie Gray died while in police custody in April.

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The Atlanta Department of Corrections referred comment on Lewis' memoir to the mayor's office, which declined to comment.

"The City of Atlanta has no comment on the Ray Lewis Memoir or the 15 year old allegations contained therein," Christina Cruz-Benton, a city spokeswoman, wrote in an email to The Baltimore Sun.

Lewis, as part of a national book-signing tour, appeared at Barnes & Noble Booksellers at the Inner Harbor and in Bel Air on Thursday. The book, written by Lewis with Daniel Paisner and focusing on the former Ravens All-Pro linebacker's life from his upbringing in Lakeland, Fla., to the Ravens' Super Bowl XLVII victory, is published by Simon & Schuster. A publicist for the company said Lewis was not available for an interview Thursday.

The book details Lewis' relationship with his father, whom Lewis didn't meet until he was 33 years old; his decision to play football at Miami rather than Florida State, his early career with the Ravens; and that night in Atlanta, when 21-year-old Jacinth Baker and 24-year-old Richard Lollar were stabbed to death during a fight outside a nightclub.

Lewis also writes about:

•How he received his name.

•How his mother, Sunseria Smith, and the abusive men she dated negatively affected their family.

•His quest to wipe his father, Elbert Ray Jackson, from his high school's wrestling record books.

•His reaction when then-Ravens vice president of player personnel Ozzie Newsome called during the 1996 NFL draft: "Baltimore who?"

•How, except for being present, he was not involved in the fight that resulted in the deaths of Lollar and Baker in Atlanta.

•Why he chose to settle a civil lawsuit brought by the murder victims' families: "It was not an admission of guilt — it was an expression of love, of sympathy."

•How fans of opposing NFL teams — and advertisers — treated him after he pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in the murder case.

The 255-page book retails for $26.99. Lewis is scheduled to appear at book signings in Miami, Phoenix, Boston and elsewhere before holding the final signing of his tour at Politics & Prose Bookstore on Dec. 8 in Washington.

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