When “keeping it real” goes wrong:
Police: Even while dying, teen won’t talk
Cop asks: Do you know who shot you? He replies: ‘I know. But I ain’t telling you. . .’
April 20, 2010
BY FRANK MAIN Staff Reporterfirstname.lastname@example.org
Robert Tate wasn’t ever going to snitch — not even when it came to his own murder, according to the Chicago Police.
Tate, 17, was shot in the chest as someone approached him on a West Side sidewalk on the evening of April 12, police say. Seeing that Tate was wounded badly and probably wouldn’t make it, an officer asked: Do you know who shot you?
“I know,” Tate told him. “But I ain’t telling you s—.”
That’s according to Harrison Area Police Cmdr. Anthony Riccio, who said the murder investigation is focusing on a possible shooter — even though Tate took his secret to the grave.
“Unfortunately it’s almost a culture among the drug dealers and gang members, that code of silence, that ‘don’t snitch’ mentality that they not only have when they’re witnesses, but also when they’re the victims,” Riccio said.
But Tate’s mother Cynthia Washington doesn’t buy it.
She doesn’t know how her son — a “very respectful child” — could have told police anything as he lay dying on the scene in the 900 block of North Avers.
“Why wouldn’t he tell them who shot him?” Washington wondered.
Riccio responded that Tate was lucid as he spoke to the officer, then died as paramedics tried to save him.
Riccio said it’s commonplace for shooting victims whose wounds aren’t life-threatening to refuse to cooperate. Just last week, a 22-year-old gang member was on a bicycle in the 500 block of East 88th when he was shot in the thigh. He didn’t even want to report the shooting after he was taken to Stroger Hospital.
“But I have never seen anyone take it to the grave,” Riccio said.
Police think Tate was killed because of his involvement in the drug trade in Humboldt Park.
As far as another young man suffering an early and unnecessary death on the streets, that’s hardly an unusual occurrence, I’m sad to say. What elevates the store beyond the everyday tragedy/monotony of Black-on-Black crime is this kid’s pathetic adherence to the “stop snitchin'” code even as his life dribbles away.
This sort of appalling ignorance can’t be fought by ignoring or covering it up. All these little punk gangsta wannabees who think they’re so hard should know there’s nothing hard about watching your life end at 17 because bullets don’t care how tough you think you are.
If the Klan or neo-Nazis were shooting down Black kids at the rate they kill each other daily, all the usual suspects would be marching down the streets of Washington chanting the same old tired-ass slogans and demanding the federal government mobilize to stop the slaughter.
But when it’s just one more dead nigger killed by another nigger likely to end up the same damn way, nobody gives a shit. It’s like a self-cleaning oven. Call the cops, tape off the area, load ’em up in the meat wagon and another clueless mommy can wail and cry about how this couldn’t have happened to her good boy.
Change the name. The scenario remains the same.
Wash, rinse, repeat. Wash, rinse, repeat. Wash, rinse, repeat…
So does that mean I’m calling out Jesse and Al and Tavis and all the rest of the so-called “Black leaders” as a bunch of race hustlers who go after the same old soft targets instead of taking on an equally evil adversary that operates in our own backyard?
You damn right I am. They work on a formula that White racism is somehow more insidious and threatening to African-Americans than our own pathological inability and refusal to attack the root causes of our own self-destructive behavior. It’s easier to scream “racism” at a corporation for the lack of dark faces in the boardroom than it is to demand police and government action against a drug dealer or a gang terrorizing a housing project.
The War on Drugs might as well be called The War On Black People. All it does is funnel dope into the worst neighborhoods, destroy families, turn Black men into convicts and locks them away in rural areas to be guarded by White men who have no other employment available. It’s a great big racket and nobody gives a damn about it until it spills over and touches them or someone they know and care about.
I hate “thug culture” like God hates sin. This self-hatred will do what slavery, the Klan, the Tuskegee Experiment and COINTELPRO couldn’t do: make Black people extinct.
One day you will have to go to a museum to find out who we even were.