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Stop Snitching

Old 02-11-06, 09:47 PM
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Stop Snitching

http://www.jsonline.com/news/metro/oct05/363034.asp

Authorities aren't hip to T-shirt's message
Anti-snitching apparel becomes hot fashion trend
By RAQUEL RUTLEDGE
[email protected]
Posted: Oct. 13, 2005
The T-shirts swing casually from the rack in The Shops of Grand Avenue.

T-shirts Criticized


Photo/Kevin Eisenhut

“Stop Snitching” T-shirts are one of Milwaukee’s hottest fashion trends.

Quotable
I have five, one for each day of the week.

- Mike O’Connor, 16, sophomore at Madison University High School

Advertisement

With a big red stop sign in the center and the words "Stop Snitching," they mean little to Mevlud Alcay, the co-owner of Personalized You, who said he is just filling orders from the growing number of young people requesting them.

"I didn't know what it meant," Alcay said. "Now I do. Now I don't want to make it anymore."

The shirts' message - interpreted with slightly varying twists - essentially urges people to stop talking to and cooperating with police.

Made popular in Baltimore last year by a "Stop Snitching" DVD featuring rappers, a Denver Nuggets player and others, some wielding guns, wishing harm on police informants, the T-shirts, sometimes spelled "Stop Snitch'n," have caught on in urban centers from Boston to Philadelphia and Denver and are now among the hottest fashion trends in Milwaukee.

"I have five, one for each day of the week," said 16-year-old Mike O'Connor, a sophomore at Madison University High School. O'Connor says he wears them just to be fashionable.

But the shirts are fueling more than fashion, police and prosecutors say. They send a dangerous message to others that, if followed, has the potential to "destabilize the whole criminal justice system," according to John Chisholm, Milwaukee County assistant district attorney.

"This is a tremendously big problem," Chisholm said.

Witness intimidation is a real and longstanding difficulty for prosecutors nationwide, and "Stop Snitch'n" apparel, which includes baseball caps, makes solving crimes more challenging, he said.

"We're trying to go in the exact opposite direction," he said.

Police and prosecutors depend on informants to crack homicides, shootings and other serious crimes. If people feel it's unsafe or uncool to cooperate with law enforcement officials, "no one is going to come forward. No one is going to testify and the neighborhoods will suffer," Chisholm said.

Florence Howard knows such suffering.

Her grandson, 21-year-old Austin Howard, was killed this year for reportedly providing information to police.

According to a criminal complaint, just after 7 p.m. on Feb. 15, near 10th and Locust streets, Sheffield Groves entered a house where Howard and some friends had gathered. Groves reportedly pointed a gun at Howard and asked why he had snitched on him. When he didn't like the answer, Groves said, "That don't sound right," and shot Howard in the head, according to the complaint. Groves, who was charged with that and another homicide, then said to someone else in the room "You don't see nothing . . . or I'll be back to see you," the complaint says.

Florence Howard isn't sure what sort of information her grandson may have shared with police, but regardless, she says the shirts should be outlawed.

"They (police) need to do something about those shirts," she said. "They need to let them know they can't go around trying to stop justice."

Ald. Michael McGee supports what he sees as a different interpretation of the "Stop Snitch'n" movement and included it among the tenets of his "Respect Kampaign" aimed at promoting positive behaviors among youth.

McGee said the movement is misunderstood. He said it's aimed at criminals cutting deals with prosecutors to lessen consequences for their own crimes.

"If you did the crime you've got to serve the time," McGee said. "If you're a criminal you shouldn't snitch on somebody until you snitch on yourself. It's a form of hatred."

Twenty-year-old Eddie Estacio agrees but also says there's seldom a good reason to cooperate with police.

"Snitches get stitches. Just remember that," he said, repeating an old street saying. "It's not the right thing to do. Keep it to yourself."

Police in Baltimore hope to squelch that mentality and launched a counteroffensive to "Stop Snitch'n" with a DVD called "Keep Talking."

Milwaukee police have noticed the growing popularity of the shirts and hope the department's upcoming campaign blitz promoting use of (800) 78-CRIME, the anonymous WE Tip line, will help.

"Witness cooperation is huge when it comes to solving homicides," said Anne E. Schwartz, police department spokeswoman. "We need help from the public. We certainly can't do this alone."


Last edited by feral125; 02-11-06 at 09:51 PM.
Old 02-11-06, 09:52 PM
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What they need to do is remarket these shirts at all the friggin idiot high school guys who are banging their ultra hot female teachers yet can't manage to keep their damn mouths shut.
Old 02-11-06, 10:15 PM
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What we need is a culture that encourages snitching. We need to remove the stigma attached to letting the police know when someone is doing something wrong.
Old 02-11-06, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by DeputyDave
What we need is a culture that encourages snitching. We need to remove the stigma attached to letting the police know when someone is doing something wrong.
That too ... as long as we first make it legal to bang your hot female teacher.
Old 02-11-06, 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by BigPete
That too ... as long as we first make it legal to bang your hot female teacher.
Duh... that was a given.
Old 02-11-06, 10:54 PM
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What do you expect when the youth of America are subjected to violence on TV, sex in movies, and shocking books like THIS:

Old 02-11-06, 11:09 PM
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Originally Posted by feral125
With a big red stop sign in the center and the words "Stop Snitching," they mean little to Mevlud Alcay
Mad Lucy Veal
Dave May Cull
Dull YMCA Ave.
Clyde A. Mulva

Old 02-11-06, 11:32 PM
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Snitchin' is Bitchin'
Old 02-11-06, 11:55 PM
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You ever notice that the young urban hip-hop culture, both black and white, is populated with the most incredible dipshit conformists in the history of mankind?

It is perfectly normal for young people to be slaves to the latest trends, but these buffoons take it to a whole new level, and well beyond the age when you would expect them to at least partially grow out of it.

They are a marketers wet dream.
Old 02-11-06, 11:59 PM
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America's Most Wanted just featured these shirts tonight. I loved John Walsh's rightous anger at them.
Old 02-12-06, 05:35 AM
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Originally Posted by JustinS
You ever notice that the young urban hip-hop culture, both black and white, is populated with the most incredible dipshit conformists in the history of mankind?

It is perfectly normal for young people to be slaves to the latest trends, but these buffoons take it to a whole new level, and well beyond the age when you would expect them to at least partially grow out of it.
I don't see the difference. Or the big deal. Seems like regular teenage behaviour to me. Once in a great while you will get an actual trouble situation, but the millions of kids will go on wearing "rebellious" t-shirts and talk big and get grounded once in a while and then grow up and act differently. Don't see what hip-hop or anything else has to do with it.

Originally Posted by fear mongering media
Twenty-year-old Eddie Estacio agrees but also says there's seldom a good reason to cooperate with police.

"Snitches get stitches. Just remember that," he said, repeating an old street saying. "It's not the right thing to do. Keep it to yourself."
oooohhhh! Epidemic!
Old 02-12-06, 07:00 AM
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While I wouldn't want any sort of police/government law banning these shirts, I think they certainly send a poor message. It blows my mind that people get so wrapped up in whatever they think they are doing to kill someone else for talking to the police.

I find it interesting that someone thinks these shirts are fashionable. It's a white shirt with a stop sign on it. Ummm . . . ok.
Old 02-12-06, 07:12 AM
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What's so fashionable about that? The shirt looks like something you'd find at those 5 for $10 places.

Snitches get stitches? What a moran.
Old 02-12-06, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by mndtrp
It blows my mind that people get so wrapped up in whatever they think they are doing to kill someone else for talking to the police.
I imagine that's true for you. This is a radically different culture that sees the police, the government, the establishment as the enemy.

You and I know plenty of people who play gangsta. These dumbass suburban kids, but if you go into many areas in numerous cities, you are going to find people really trying to live da thug life. They are part of a niche subculture borne of poverty, racism and a feeling of disenfranchisement that now absent one or more of those things still thrives.
Old 02-12-06, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Matt925
I don't see the difference. Or the big deal. Seems like regular teenage behaviour to me.
It is regular teenage behavior (as I already mentioned), but the level of confirmity is substantially higher in terms of clothes, shoes, hair, even the car that they drive, at least in my observation. Also, they would appear to continue this level of conformity into a much older age than average.

In the course of doing other work at my former job, I have had the opportunity to make some comparative observations in high schools and the difference was substantial, even back in the early 1990s.

Once the marketers really woke up to the money to be made by targetting urban youths, especially black youths, a couple of decades ago, they have been having a field day. There are lots of people (many of them who have come from the name neighborhoods themselves) getting very, very rich promoting the sales of thousands of dollars of crap to young people who, by and large, cannot afford it.

I just find it very sad.
Old 02-12-06, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by JustinS
It is regular teenage behavior (as I already mentioned), but the level of confirmity is substantially higher in terms of clothes, shoes, hair, even the car that they drive, at least in my observation. Also, they would appear to continue this level of conformity into a much older age than average.
Compared to younger, more "innocent" fads like:





Or kids who all look like this:



I think marketers have gotten more talented in general, and our society as a whole is becoming more and more consumer-oriented, and hip-hop is becoming a bigger part of marketing because it's the music of this generation, as rock was in the 50s, 60s, and 70s.

I still see the exact same rebellious type behaviour and mentality, and see very little wrong with it. The rampant commercialization may cause more conformity, which is alarming, but I don't see what hip-hop or anything else has to do with it. It's our consuming culture and the science companies have gotten selling stuff to us down to.
Old 02-12-06, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Matt925
Compared to younger, more "innocent" fads like:
Again, I think I have stated that this is normal youth behavior. This is especially normal among young children.

Tell you what, go to a mixed race (white and black) urban high school and pick one hundred white students at random and one hundred black students at random, looking carefully at how they express themselves through their clothes, shoes, hair, cars, everything and tell me you see just as much individuality among black students as white. There will be substantial levels of confirmity in both groups but I bet the black students are noticably "worse."[/QUOTE]
Old 02-13-06, 04:34 AM
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Originally Posted by DeputyDave
What we need is a culture that encourages snitching. We need to remove the stigma attached to letting the police know when someone is doing something wrong.

Really? That's what we need, as a culture, is people deciding if what you do is wrong or not and informing the police about it?

Last edited by boston george; 02-13-06 at 04:40 AM.
Old 02-13-06, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by boston george
Really? That's what we need, as a culture, is people deciding if what you do is wrong or not and informing the police about it?
And strangely enough, the police will investigate rather than just bypassing the courts and summarily executing you because your neighbor said you had allowed your dog to pee on his prize begonias.


Alternate edition of this post:

And strangely enough, I bet if I mugged you you'd rat me out to the po-po the first chance you got.

Last edited by AGuyNamedMike; 02-13-06 at 07:26 AM.
Old 02-13-06, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by boston george
Really? That's what we need, as a culture, is people deciding if what you do is wrong or not and informing the police about it?
I guess I figured we had laws that determined whether what you were doing was wrong or not. If it's serious enough to contemplate going to the police, chances are there is a law about it.
Old 02-13-06, 08:16 AM
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Being a CI is the fastest way to a body bag. That's what The Shield has taught be about snitching.
Old 02-13-06, 11:00 AM
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[QUOTE=feral125]

has the potential to "destabilize the whole criminal justice system," [QUOTE]

Aren't these just t-shirts for God's sake.
Old 02-13-06, 12:14 PM
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I've made a career with snitchers...

Keep 'em coming!
Old 02-13-06, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by FiveO
I've made a career with snitchers...

Keep 'em coming!
They're only satisfying if you eat them.

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