Of course, there’s a big difference.
One narrative paints the community as participating in a kind of mass conspiracy of silence; in the second scenario, the city and police are blaming an entire neighborhood for knowing as little about the crime as they apparently do.
“Stop snitching” may be a real problem for police, but it’s also a potential way to redirect responsibility.
In this case, say some Logan residents, it’s unfair.
“I was raised with the value that you do come forward. That’s a big deal to me and my parents,” says Andre Mason, 21, who grew up in front of the scene of the shooting and who was recently accepted to Widener Law. Mason takes the allegation of failing to step up personally.
His brother, he says, was killed in a violent incident. And it was his family that attempted to care for the bleeding 2-year-old inside their house before an ambulance arrived. Mason’s father (who declined to give his name) continues to be troubled by the recent news articles.
“Nobody knows who did what,” he says, visibly upset. “And they won’t let it die, saying this is ‘Don’t snitch.’”
The younger Mason says city officials and a certain Daily News columnist ought to have spent more time talking to him and his neighbors before airing accusations of withholding information. He guffaws upon learning that Bykofsky had relied on NAACP president Jerry Mondesire for community perspective.
“See, that’s the punch line: You weren’t out here,” Mason says. “You weren’t walking the beat.”
“I don’t want to get too political,” the lawyer-to-be reflected. “People in power have no idea what’s going on. They see demographics and they say, ‘Oh, that’s what’s wrong.’”