CONSIDER THIS: Code of Silence needs to end - - Jackson, MS

CONSIDER THIS: Code of Silence needs to end

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT

Jackson experienced another violent crime when a man was shot this week and critically injured. When our news crew arrived at the scene, more than a dozen people were outside watching but would not talk because they fear retaliation.

It's a problem for officers investigating crimes and victims who sometimes can't speak for themselves. If I was in that situation and felt like my life was at risk, or my family’s safety was compromised, I’m not sure what I would do. I hope I would do the right thing,

One councilman is calling for an end to the code of silence.

"In these inner city neighborhoods, there's a code of silence that you should not and would not help the police department or the police officers because someone will hurt you," said Councilman Stokes. "What we're saying, that code of silence must change."

Mr. Stokes is sometimes controversial, and many people disagree with his views, but he gets elected because he represents the voters in his district.

Mr. Stokes, I applaud you for encouraging people to speak up. But people are not going to speak up unless they feel safe that they can do that without fear of retribution.

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Unfortunately, the phrase Snitches get Stiches rings truer with many people than encouraging them to do the right thing. A soundbite won’t effect change.

If Councilman Stokes can turn his words into action and create an environment where people begin to speak up, it will have a positive impact throughout the city. It’s been done in other places. Hopefully this is the start of that transformation in Jackson. 

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