The Etiquette of Snitching

October 9, 2009

A hot meeting in Roseland last night. It was a youth- led "ËœTown Hall' put on by the Roseland Safety Networks Coalition to address community tension that has followed the beating death of Fenger Academy honor student Derrion Albert. paul-roseland-final One Bowen senior had harsh words for Chicago's finest, taunting: "If y'all was out there, why didn't you do nothing? Was y'all scared?" paul-cut1 22nd district police commander Michael Kuemmoth gave a calm response, and also reiterated that there is an internal investigation looking into the response of the officer at the scene. paul-cut2 Adults had a chance to ask questions of the youth and some wanted to know -- why the code of silence? Why won't you step up and reveal the perpetrators of crime? Nineteen-year-old Aisha Latiker, who moderated the Town Hall, spells out some of the pros and cons of "being a snitch." paul-cut4 Latiker has a brilliant idea on how kids can step up. They can TEXT a tip to police saying for instance where a fight is going on, but not say who's to be involved. "That's not snitchin'"she says. paul-cut5 Alderman Carrie Austin offered her office as a safe haven to kids who want to convey information to police and others. "Let me be the snitch," she offered. paul-cut3 And police commander Kuemmoth gave kids his cell phone number plus a text tip number so they can contact police anonymously, 24/7.