Detroit police chief says 'no-snitch' culture is overdone

Chief says Detroit police officers, detectives will get back into neighborhoods


DETROIT – At the scene of the barbershop shooting earlier this month in Detroit, there was a familiar problem: somebody knows something but nobody will talk.

Before dropping in on Detroit Police Chief James Craig's summit on violent crime Tuesday night, we drove around a little and asked Detroiters if you don't call the police when you see crime, why not? Responses included at least one about police officers' lack of interaction with the community.

Chief Craig said he would try to solve that by putting officers and detectives back into neighborhoods.

"By not having detectives at the precinct level, it creates a void. People think when they report crime there is no one interested in their crime, so we're changing that," the chief said.

But there is a wide difference in opinion on whether or not there is a snitch culture in Detroit.

"You have a problem in the streets with no protection. People can come at you like, 'You a snitch,'" said one Detroiter.

Chief Craig said that's not the case.

"This no-snitch culture is kind of overdone, and it sends the wrong message as if no one is talking to the police. That is absolutely not the case," he said. "I recognize that I am coming into a situation where people have been angry and frustrated for years. This didn't happen overnight, and I can't change it overnight."

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