Tulare Loses Jontel Reedom, Who Won On The Football Field -- and In Our Hearts

Jontell Reedom was a brother, a son, a teammate and, to this author, a fellow graduate of Tulare high schools, Class of 2009. As such, this author shares the grief of this tragic loss with the loved ones of Mr. Reedom. 

To move forward productively, we can learn necessary lessons from this tragic incident, while offering support where immediately needed. To remember Jontell properly, we ought to support loved ones, promote mental health awareness and properly investigate the circumstances surrounding his passing.

As our community has navigated this difficult time, it has become clear that Mr. Reedom was a beloved community member. He was a football star in high school, where he was recruited by top universities like USC, among others. He was also an attendee of Tulare schools from an early age, according to former classmates. Jontell is survived by siblings, who are currently gathering donations on GoFundMe.com (https://www.gofundme.com/burial-expense-for-jontell-reedom) for funeral and hospital expenses. 

In the wake of this tragedy, family and friends of Jontell Reedom have asked that mental health awareness be increased and prioritized. Under the slogan, 'Treat the ill, not kill the ill', they have asked for 24-hour treatment facilities and increased counseling services in general. This is their chosen legacy, and government and non-profit organizations have the impetus and responsibility to follow Mr Reedom's example: to catch the pass from his loved ones, and run far with it.

Lastly, we must call upon the proper supervising authorities to examine the circumstances surrounding his death. In doing so, the proper designees would allow the people of Tulare, and Jontell Reedom's family in particular, to receive proper clarity and closure. As a professional in the field of criminal justice, this author recognizes the importance of open and accountable processes. Without a preconceived outcome determined, an unbiased investigation is a route to understanding in this heretofore confusing and saddening situation.

Jontell Reedom will be remembered forever as a son, brother, teammate, classmate. His smile reverberates across social media today, as an expression of a young man's love and joy. The grief and loss that we feel can spur us to action in order to remember him properly. LGBT Tulare offers its deepest condolences to the family of Mr. Jontell Reedom.

 

 

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