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Fear of "Snitching" Keeping Shooting Witnesses Quiet | News

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Fear of "Snitching" Keeping Shooting Witnesses Quiet
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BUFFALO, N.Y. - Some community leaders admit there's a code of sorts on the streets to not "snitch" about any crime you might have witnessed.

A police tip-line billboard on Buffalo's west side is a perfect example of that. Someone spray painted on it "stop snitchin'".

Darnell Jackson is a former gang leader who now heads up a group where kids clean-up the east side. He says everyone he has talked to about this case claims they wouldn't say a word if they saw something or had information that would help authorities.

Why? First he says people are scared of retaliation. Second, he says when it comes to the greater black community they have a trust issue with police on things like this.

"They say the police is the same way,"said Jackson. "They don't snitch on each other, they wear a blue suit. They're a gang and they protect each other."

"Now it's like they care on one hand and on the other hand they don't," said Jackson, of the police. "Every time somebody of a different color than us gets killed, they solve that. But when it's black on black they can't solve it."

"We, as the people in the community are part of the Buffalo Police Department, the same as anyone else," said Kenyatta Cobb Sr., a Buffalo Police Chaplain. "Our police department has a multicultural [make-up]. Everybody is in the police department."

Jackson says another reason people don't come forward with information is because police don't protect them afterwards. Reverend Cobb countered that by saying police do a good job of helping witnesses, but many times witnesses don't listen when they're given advice like getting out of town for a while.

Cobb says many witnesses don't come forward saying they don't want to get involved. But he always tells them, it doesn't involve you today. What about tomorrow? Will you need help?

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