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What did a background check have to do with mourning a shooting victim?

I was discouraged to see that the article about Brandon Williams, who was killed in Dorchester this month, highlighted that a background check showed that he had no criminal record before it gave essential details about who he was to his family and his community (”Family recalls slain Dorchester man,” Metro, Feb. 16). If someone were shot and killed in Brookline or Newton, would this be the crucial information to be reported? Do we need to be informed that the victim had no previous wrongdoing (in other words, was “blameless”) in order to open our hearts to the loss of a doting father suffered by his daughter? The Globe needs to take the lead in examining such assumptions in order to help us move past our entrenched biases.

Vivian S. Montgomery