The Witness Project, a collaboration with WOVU 95.9, The Plain Dealer, and The Ward 7 Observer, documents a variety of persectives and has found that fear is a major factor for “Why the Streets don’t Speak?”
Fear is driving around our community creating trauma. Trauma, in many cases Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (P.T.S.D.), which can lay dormant in a person’s mind for many years after a bad experience is another reason why the streets don’t speak.
Hearing the different definitions of the word “snitching” and the reasons why people don’t snitch throughout the interviewing process has been very interesting and frankly quite surprising.
Interesting because of the many definitions that fall into different categories. What has been surprising is how many of the experiences being expressed are coming from very young people. These children accentuate what the adults are saying. In all the dialog and information gathered, nothing compares to being afraid to speak about a crime.
Last summer I was awakened to what sounded like an atomic bomb. I sat up in my bed and turned to my wife and said, I think lightening hit the house! I went over to look out the window and was interrupted by my grandson, visibly upset and seeking protection, busting through the bedroom door. “Grandpa what’s going on?” I wrapped my arms around him and said, “don’t worry lay in my bed.” To my surprise I looked out of the window to find a hole in my garage that took up the entire wall. Almost like someone fired a missile through it the size of a truck. I looked in the hole from my window to see the back of a Ford Expedition SVU.
Someone had driven their car through my garage and totaled both my wife’s and my car, knocking them out of the garage and through the overhead garage door.
Well of course this was start of a yearlong process to make things right. It was a miracle no one was hurt. The accident was the result of the failed robbery of a Lyft driver who avoided being shot three times while driving through the garage. The person was eventually caught and brought to trial only because of the pressure from the police, and all the insurance companies. I guess you could say the streets did speak! It was later revealed that the driver was an acquaintance of the culprit.
The day came that a letter arrived saying the family would have to testify. At first it was no big deal because it’s the right thing to do and should be expected from good people in the community. I think it was about three days before the trial that the reality of having to testify and the possible consequences started surface around the house.
Looking back at some of the fiery exchanges between the family members, I now realize it was the stress and worry kicking in.
On the way down to the courthouse there was tension in the car because we all knew testifying was the right thing to do. After parking the car, I started to worry-what if the guy remembers me? What if he knows and comes back to the house?
We walked up to the registration desk and the court room official asked, “what’s your name?” We told her and to our surprise she said, “you don’t have to testify, he took a plea!”
Fear had parked the car! My fear was relieved. Now I know how it feels, and what others have experienced and “Why the Streets Don’t Speak!”