If you ever find yourself tempted to write something like this for the New York Times, just go back to bed. It’s far more productive for you to be sleeping than to publish something like this. And it’s far, far less likely that a ton of people will fault you for being asleep.
Because, you see, in this paragraph it sure sounds like you’re suggesting that teenagers who live in a community with “rough patches,” teenagers who push or scuffle with others, teenagers who write rap lyrics that are vulgar, teenagers who dabble in drugs and alcohol … well, those are teenagers whose deaths at the hands of the police we can somehow understand.
But, really, when an unarmed teenager is shot six times by a police officer after being stopped for walking in the street in a residential area, all the explanations about his behavior (which, if we’re being honest, is pretty much exactly the sort of behavior that goes hand-in-hand with being a teenager) are just post hoc justifications for overzealous, racially-charged policing.