Baltimore police commissioner wants end to "stop snitching"

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Baltimore, Maryland is not a great place to spend time. Not if you’re worried about violence, at any rate.

I’m sure it’s got a lot of other things going for it, reasons for people to stay there or to visit if they’re not concerned about violent crime.

However, for people who live there, violent crime is most definitely a problem, as is the difficulty police have in catching those who perpetrate it.

Now, the Baltimore police commission has a request.

Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison plead with the community Tuesday to help police bring violent criminals to justice.

“It will require people who are out there standing right there when crimes are committed to help us hold those people accountable. Because, if nothing changes, then nothing changes,” Harrison said.

“And not only not attempting to stop this behavior, but also being very uncooperative in helping us hold these cowardly criminals accountable,” Harrison said.

The culture of silence dates back decades in Baltimore, but rose to notoriety following the 2004 ‘Stop Snitching’ DVD.

“A lot of lives have been ruined because of that video,” Corey Moore of West Baltimore said Wednesday. “It’s been in us not to snitch, not to tell. They might see someone get killed right in front of them and they’d mind their business.”

While Harrison is absolutely right, there’s a bit more to it than just a DVD from back in the day. The article notes that those who do talk to police may well be signing their own death warrants.

And the police commissioner saying that shouldn’t be the case isn’t exactly going to change anything.

The problem, though, is that the police need to be able to get information from the public. Further, the public who is sick of seeing people shot and killed in their neighborhoods needs to be talking to police to do something about that.

There’s not really a lot of middle ground on this one.

Yet the answer may lie not in heartfelt requests from police officials, but from people in Baltimore and throughout Maryland regaining their Second Amendment rights.

Worried that talking to the police will get you shot? Maybe you should be lawfully carrying a firearm to protect yourself from those who would harm you for speaking.

In Maryland, and especially in Baltimore, there’s a high percentage of folks who think guns are the problem. However, those who are killing people aren’t buying or carrying guns lawfully. Yet if the good people of the afflicted neighborhoods were armed, it’s unlikely they’d be nearly as scared to talk to police.

Unfortunately, I don’t see anything changing.

Pleas for an end to “stop snitching” culture are going to go about as well as pleas to end violent crime. It’s unlikely anyone is going to see this plea and think, “Oh, well, since he asked so nicely…”

It’s just not going to happen. Even though he’s right, he didn’t really accomplish much of anything.

The truth is that it’s going to take a whole lot more than a simple ask.