Bilal Qayyum of an antiviolence group called Men United for a Better Philadelphia is outraged by retail sales of a black t-shirt bearing the ominous warning “STOP SNITCHIN,” reports the Philadelphia Weekly. Qayyum’s group holds weekly rallies in neighborhoods battered by drugs and gun violence, and encourages frightened yet frustrated residents to put an end to it by naming names. Qayyum sees the “STOP SNITCHIN” message as a smack in the face, says the newspaper. “We try to encourage people to give information to the police, and now you have these T-shirts that say the opposite,” he says.
A store called Prime Sports sells six versions of the “STOP SNITCHIN” T-shirt, including one that reads in big red letters: “DON’T TALK 2 POLICE.” The shirts are manufactured by Decatur, Ga.-based R. World Shirt Company, which did not return calls to the newspaper. A Philadelphia District Attorney spokesperson says the shirts “just foster lawlessness.” Prime Sports manager James Durango disagrees, saying, “It’s just a T-shirt. It’s about fashion-nothing else.” Another Prime Sports manager says, “We always sell out. I sell at least 10 a day.”