The “stop snitching” movement began in the late 1990’s as lyrics by rappers and advocates non- action by not talking to police. It was previously referred mostly to a “jail house rat”. The movement, infectiously sweeping through the public, has become a cultural campaign spawning rap music and clothing apparel including t-shirts that display a stop sign and the word “snitching” under it.
The “stop snitching” movement has gathered an entire generation of teens and young adults who refuse to talk to police for fear of being labeled a “snitch” and avoiding Law Enforcement even though violent crimes continually rip through their neighborhoods.
“Stop snitching” is also used as witness intimidation saying that “snitches deserve to get stitches”. The hindrance it poses to our trial system is devastating and is steadily growing. It erodes trust between communities and police, making it difficult to prevent and combat crime. Additionally, it impedes investigations, arrests, and convictions, making it difficult to remove violent offenders from communities. As a result, the “stop snitching” movement has caused national crime rates to rise.
The “stop snitching” movement uses protection under the first amendment-free speech. Options to legally stop the movement are limited. Obstruction of justice laws only punish those who actively inhibit witness testimony.
New resources are being implemented in preventing witness intimidation such as witness protection programs and other programs aimed at building trust between communities and Law Enforcement.
Think of all the crimes that go unpunished in our neighborhoods, all the victims of crimes such as robberies, other thefts, sexual assaults, home invasion, and even homicides. How would any of us feel if one of our loved ones were a victim of a crime and it went unpunished because witnesses felt threatened or didn’t want to be labeled as a “snitch”?
START SNITCHING! Clean up our neighborhoods and protect our families. We should be the ones that teach our children the right things; to stand up for what is right, being honest, having integrity and good moral character. Do not let our children learn the ways of criminals who believe that they should be able to break the law and get away with it. We should control our neighborhoods, not the criminals.
Believe it or not, many citizens in many communities are snitching because they don’t want the crime in their neighborhoods. If we do not work with our police, we are basically telling criminals “come into our neighborhoods, take it over, do whatever you want, we won’t do anything about it”.
Get involved with your local Law Enforcement and the programs they offer, especially their community policing programs. Another way to get involved is to go on ride-a -longs with your local police and witness firsthand what goes on in our communities on a daily/nightly basis.
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