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The Boston Globe

Opinion

LAWRENCE HARMON

Boston’s dispensable teenagers

Older criminals and layabouts refer to young teens who do their bidding as “crash test dummies.’’ That’s the phrase that Boston detectives heard after two young teenagers — ages 14 and 15 — were arrested in connection with separate murders in October, according to Police Commissioner Edward Davis.

Even by the callous standards of urban slang, the reference to crash dummies goes beyond the pale. It speaks to a willingness to reduce a vulnerable young person to nonhuman status. Even worse, it suggests that the purpose of such dehumanization is to transform a teen into a human weapon to be launched at will.

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