Officials tackle 'anti-snitching' messages

THE BRONX - City officials announced Wednesday they are fed up with the 'anti-snitching' messages around the Bronx.

Officials are now taking aim at what they say is graffiti that looks to intimidate those who would cooperate in a police investigation.

Officials, including Council Speaker Christine Quinn, say graffiti on the side of a Harlem building - which depicts a rat with a noose around its neck - exemplifies what they hope to eradicate.

"Anywhere that you go with paint, we will follow with paint," says Quinn. "Anytime you send the message to stop snitching, we will say it's not snitching, it's saving a life."

Armed with paint and brushes, the Harlem community, religious leaders and officials took the rat off the wall Wednesday. They hope to spread the message that cooperating with police is a way to help make streets safer.

One mother, Cherise Smith, still waits for her 15-year-old son's killer to be found. To her it's not snitching, it's justice.

"It's helping a parent to feel relief that this person cannot get away with what they've done," she says.

Officials say the wall in Harlem is the first in an open-ended effort that will extend to all five boroughs.

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