On Oct. 29, Kevin Peterson Jr., a young Black man, father of an infant, and former student at Union High School, died from police bullets while armed and resisting arrest during a set-up drug deal. The actions of three Clark County sheriff’s deputies are under independent investigation.
Meanwhile, there is another aspect to the story. Why did Peterson — not impoverished and educated for better opportunities — choose behaviors that so predictably lead to disaster?
We must not shrink from the issue of Peterson’s role in the tragedy. The stakes for other young people who may take the same path are high. If lessons can be learned, we must do so.
The sequence of events leading to Peterson’s death likely began years ago, with a series of life choices made by Peterson himself.
First, at some point in adolescence, he turned away from the opportunities offered by an advantaged high school to enter the illicit drug trade. He then decided to acquire a firearm from a relative and to boast on social media about his intent to use it on police if confronted.