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Another young man is dead in Jacksonville as a result of making poor choices.

This happens way too often. Lives matter.

Kwame Jones, 17, died back in January because he had chosen to associate with two people who chose to steal a car and shoot at the police.

Jones was a passenger in the stolen car. A police officer spotted the car and gave chase. The driver, Bobby Whitty, 18, refused to stop. Whitty crashed the car and the police officer approached the car.

At that point, the police said, another passenger, Joseph Carter, 18, began firing a gun at the police officer.

The officer returned fire, striking Carter in the leg and Jones in the back.

Jones died. Video shows Carter lying on the ground uttering the now-standard line employed by criminals – “I can’t breathe,” although he was only shot in the leg.

Whitty fled and was caught later.

The shooting of Jones was justified, according to the State Attorney’s Office.

Because all three of the youths made poor choices, Jones died, Carter was shot and Whitty may go to prison.

Each year, a number of young people die in similar circumstances. Rather than surrender to police and allow the judicial system to work, they resist arrest and are killed. It is a waste of lives.

Similarly, many thousands more make poor choices that result in them living in poverty rather than having meaningful, prosperous lives.

Research has shown that three things almost eliminate the prospect of being in poverty:

  • Graduate from high school.
  • Get a job.
  • Do not have children before getting married.

None of these things are difficult. Millions of people have achieved them with little effort. It almost takes an effort NOT to achieve them.

Yet, in three of the 14 City Council districts in Jacksonville, the incidence of poverty is above 30 percent, according to numbers one council member produced recently.

There are circumstances that cause people to be poor, such as being blind or disabled, unable to work and being without family assistance.

But for the most part, poverty and crime are the result of choices. Poor ones can be fatal.

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Lloyd was born in Jacksonville. Graduated from the University of North Florida. He spent nearly 50 years of his life in the newspaper business …beginning as a copy boy and retiring as editorial page editor for Florida Times Union. He has also been published in a number of national newspapers and magazines, as well as Internet sites. Married with children. Military Vet. Retired. Man of few words but the words are researched well, deeply considered and thoughtfully written.

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