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LOCAL Commentary :: Crime and Police

Code of Silence Stymies Police

A new form of peer pressure, possibly glamorized by rap music, has police here struggling to find answers in several recent shootings.
Since May 13, the Alton Police Department has investigated eight shootings. And in each case, police have struggled to persuade witnesses to talk.

Lt. David Hayes, chief of detectives for the department, blames the problem, in part, on a new trend caused by rap stars who "glamorize the stop-snitching policy."

He said the rap stars have told young people to stop talking to police across the country. Advertisement

"It started in New York City, and it's gotten all the way to us," Hayes said. "We're worried that someone innocent is going to end up dead and we just can't accept the fact that no one is talking."

In most cases, hospital emergency workers, who are required to report shootings, call police when victims arrive for treatment.

One recent victim, 20-year-old Ricky Jefferson, was shot six times on July 25. When interviewed by police, he would not talk.

"They say, 'I'm not going to talk to you; I'm not saying nothing,'" Hayes said. "So we're there to help them, and they end up acting like they are a suspect instead of a victim. That's why we're having such a tough time."

Hayes said the shootings might be fights between "factions of friends that has escalated to this point" but are not gang-related.

The latest shooting happened Monday. The victim was George Everage Jr., 20, of the 1800 block of Piasa Street in Alton. He was treated at St. Anthony's Hospital in Alton. He refused to say anything to police.

"It's happening all over the city," Hayes said. "We're worried that someone is going to end up dead — some innocent person, an unintended victim — which is usually the case in drive-by shootings."
 
 

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Re: Code of Silence Stymies Police

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Re: Code of Silence Stymies Police

"A new form of peer pressure..." Of course, they couldn't possibly be thinking for themselves! Any way, thinking outside the box--expecially when it comes to the police--could be dangerous!They must be influenced by those bad rappers.

If they thought for themselves, these young people might start to see that the police don't stop crime (they cause more than they solve) and that they're a racist militia unit whose major job is to protect the property rights of the rich.

That would be really dangerous to the status quo, now wouldn't it? We can't have that!
 

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