Step 4: Combat the “Stop Snitching”Campaign
Successful Prosecutions Are Key to Safer Streets
12 accused murders never went to trial in 2006 in Prince George’s County primarily because of witness problems17, largely stemming from witness intimidation.
"It's a huge problem. We have witness intimidation that pops up in many of our murder cases and increasingly in lower level violent offenses as well."
- State’s Attorney Glenn Ivey, 2009
"Witness intimidation is a real factor that must be overcome."18
- Former Police Chief Melvin High, 2008
Prosecutors and police across the country report an increase in witness intimidation fueled by the “Stop Snitchin” DVDs produced in Baltimore and promoted by gang leaders and rappers.
Across the country, 78% of police reported a decreased willingness to testify among witnesses, and 45% reported a drop in the rate of solved cases.19
17 Murders Cases Stopping Short of Juries, Washington Post, January 21, 2007.
18 Prince George’s To Shield Witnesses of Violent Crimes, Examiner.com, March 6, 2008.
19 Witness Troubles Stymie Police, USA Today, March, 23, 2008; The Stop Smitching Phenomenon: Breaking the Code of Silence., U.S. Department of Justice, February 2009.