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Dear Fellow Chicagoan, You Are Not A Snitch

By Mark Konkol | January 31, 2013 7:25am | Updated on January 31, 2013 2:55pm

Dear Fellow Chicagoan:

I know you saw the guy who shot and killed Hadiya Pendleton at Vivian Gordon Harsh Park Tuesday.

It’s probably tearing you up inside. I feel for you.

You’re probably afraid to tell anyone you were there because in Chicago “snitches wind up in ditches.”

But don’t be afraid.

You are not a snitch.

You are not a snitch.

You are not a snitch.

I can’t say it enough.

And I can’t wait for Derrick Rose, Jennifer Hudson or Kanye West to join forces with the cops to help get the word out in our violent neighborhoods that the definition of a snitch is a criminal who rats out his associates. Not an innocent witness who helps police.

And on Tuesday, the only potential snitches out there are the cowards who participated in the senseless slaying of 15-year old Hadiya and the wounding of two boys in her group.

But that’s not you.

You are not a snitch.

You saw what you saw.

You believe in right and wrong.

And the rest of us need your help.

These gun-toting gangbangers are killing Chicago kids and terrorizing our neighborhoods.

And they’re not afraid to keep shooting because odds are they won’t get caught. Our silence helps them get away with it. Last year, 94 percent of gunmen who shot and wounded someone didn't face charges.

That's a scary statistic.

Because when a shooter stays on the street the next person to get shot at a park could be you, me or someone we love.

Still, we don’t get it.

The murder of our best kids make national headlines and our response is to stay silent, to blame the cops and the government and to pretend it’s none of our business.

Remember the outrage over the death of Ben Wilson, the Simeon basketball star they called “Magic Johnson with a jump shot?" He was gunned down over nothing.

What about Dantrell Davis, the innocent 7-year old killed in gang crossfire outside Cabrini-Green?

And how everyone was shaken up when Blair Holt, a cop’s kid, took a fatal bullet on a CTA bus.

And here we are again.

This time it’s Hadiya, a volleyball player who loved to read and dance — a majorette who performed at Obama’s inauguration earlier this month.

Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said, “I don’t want this to be a three- to four-month case. I want this closed now.”

And he needs someone to speak up for Hadiya.

That starts with you doing the right thing.

Call 911 or send a text to police. Ask your pastor to pass a message to investigators.

Find a way to meet a plainclothes cop far away from your violent neighborhood — say a Lakeview coffee shop or the Macy’s cafeteria downtown — and tell him what you saw.

Do whatever you can to help catch the punk who pulled the trigger.

It’s the only way to let shooters in Chicago know they can’t count on good people who know right from wrong to keep quiet anymore.

And that’s who you are.
You’re not a snitch.
You’re not a snitch.
You’re not a snitch.

I can’t say it enough.