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Rev. Jesse Jackson: No-Snitching Is A Learned Behavior

By Chuck Sudo in News on Feb 8, 2013 7:00PM

Rev. Jesse Jackson

The shooting death of Hadiya Pendleton last week has cast a light on Chicago's murder rate, the city's seeming inability to rein in gun violence and, notably, the culture of "no-snitching" that encourages people to resort to gun violence with impunity.

Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. has been addressing the "no-snitching" culture for the past week in the wake of Pendleton's murder. Jackson spoke to students at King College Prep, Pendleton's high school, in an attempt to sway some of them to come forward.

DNAInfo Chicago has the details:

"The price we pay is that the killer goes free and has the option to kill somebody else," he said.

He then asked the students, "If today you knew a friend had some drugs or a gun in their car outside, would you tell it?"

The crowd murmured "no's" in response, and when Jackson repeated his question, their refusal was stronger.

When Jackson asked if they would turn in someone with a rope and hood in their car — a member of the Ku Klux Klan — they shouted "yes!"

"We lose more lives from bullets than from the rope," Jackson said. "You're willing to turn in the Klan member that does not exist in your life, but not turn in the threat that sent you to a funeral this coming week."

Jackson, who last week called for federal intervention to help curb Chicago's violence, earlier this week took to Twitter to address the "no-snitching" culture:

The "no-snitching" culture has been blamed as a contributing factor in the Chicago Police Department's staggering inability to clear non-fatal shootings—only 6 percent were cleared in 2012. It's worth noting that Pendleton's killer is still at large, despite a $30,000 reward offer from the Chicago Police Department.

Hadiya Pendleton's funeral will be held Saturday. First Lady Michelle Obama, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and White House senior advisor Valerie Jarrett will be in attendance.