The “Stop Snitchin’” street code meme spread like wildfire, especially after NBA and current New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony infamously delivered a cold message to criminal informants on a homegrown DVD released in his native Baltimore back in 2004. Normally rooted in the violent drug trade and other criminal activities, New York’s Police Department has a similar code within it hallowed halls–and it appears that corruption thrives among the Boys In Blue because of police officers fearing retaliation if they report a fellow cop.
The New York Times released a story in their Sunday (June 24) edition regarding the “blue wall of silence” that serves as an unspoken but generally regarded practice amongst officers to not turn in their own. Police who step up to report a corrupt officer are shunned and shamed at every turn, allowing dirty cops to enjoy untouchable status because of the stigma that follows a snitcher. The fear was indeed crippling for former Narcotics detective Jeffery McAvoy.
“I’m reporting a guy on my team. What do I do? What do I do?” said McAvoy of reporting an officer in 2008 for stealing $5,000 from the shoes of a drug dealer. “I went to the bathroom about a dozen times and threw up, actually physically threw up, before I made the call.”
The angst and ensuing bullying McAvoy endured after placing the call to Internal Affairs followed the 20-year veteran after he was transferred. Police officers upset about McAvoy reporting one of their own called ahead to his new district and labeled him a snitch. His troubles mirrored those of former detective James E. Griffin, who is suing the department along with three other officers after being forced to retire because of his involvement with Internal Affairs.
Current officer Sgt. Robert P. Borrelli reported to Internal Affairs that officers were padding crime statistics and was essentially led to believe he was doing the right thing. However, Borrelli feels he has attracted the disapproval of his higher-ups and is now in administrative hot water – something he feels is a retaliatory tactic.
“They basically want to make an example out of you to stop people from coming forward, and that’s what bothers me the most,” he said.
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