Community leaders want to end 'stop snitching' culture

- A string of recent homicides in north Minneapolis remain unsolved and that's leaving activists frustrated.

They believe the fear of being seen as a "snitch" is keeping people who know vital information from coming forward.

“You have people who have been taught as they're little kids, that it's snitching,” said K.G. Wilson, with the group United in Peace.

Wilson told FOX 9 even though the days of people wearing stop snitching shirts are gone, the code remains entrenched. He said snitching applies to criminals, not witnesses.

"Usually, the snitching is two criminals, who are in some criminal activity, whatever it may be, and one gets caught and tells on the other. That's snitching."

But activists and police are fighting fears of stigma retaliation. Wilson said even the lure of the $60,000 reward in the Terrell Mayes, Jr. case is not enough to loosen lips. Mayes was shot and killed in December 2011, and the case remains unsolved.

Wilson worries about the future if the code isn't cracked.

“It just continues to go along from generation to generation, now you have so many unsolved murders, so many unsolved crimes,” he said.

Minneapolis Police have said they are working to improve relationships in the community and overcome mistrust. More patrols are planned in the coming days to provide a visible presence.

If you have any information on unsolved crimes, you're asked to call police, TIP-411 or CrimeStoppers. Or you can tell a trusted community member and they can pass that info along.

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