| News |

Carmelo Cameo

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

An anonymous individual angry over gang violence has been posting fliers denouncing Carmelo Anthony. This weekend, crude Xerox copies were taped to light poles and newspaper boxes in and around the Golden Triangle, the Central Denver neighborhood where Denver Bronco Darrent Williams was gunned down on January 1. The flier features a clipping of an article from the

Rocky Mountain News

that claimed the Denver Nuggets star was considering starting a scholarship fund for Williams' two children. It is followed by this handwritten screed, entitled "Hypocrite":

"One day it's 'stop snitching.' Another day it's 'I'm going to do something for the kids.' You may be making tons of cash, but you definitely don't deserve to be anyone's hero, especially my son's. If you really wanted to do something for Darrent Williams' kids, and for thousands of other kids, you would stop supporting murderous gang banger trash like the 'brothers' who killed Darrent Williams. You are a fraud. You don't have the guts to take a stand for good, and take a stand against evil. No sir, you are nobody's hero. Heroes use their celebrity to make the present and the future better. Just keep cashing the checks; see where it leads ya."

The unknown author is referring to the infamous Stop Snitching DVD, a homegrown video that began circulating on the streets of Baltimore in 2005. The amateur production, which featured a cameo by Baltimore-born Anthony, glorifies gang membership and threatens deadly retribution to anyone cooperating with police in investigations. While Anthony says he was unaware of video's message while it was being filmed, the ensuing community uproar prompted the basketball player to participate in police-sponsored anti-violence spots. Yet the "Stop Snitching" motto -- and the underlying encouragement of witness intimidation -- continued to spread among urban youths nationwide.

Not long after Javad Marshall-Fields and his fiancee, Vivian Wolfe, were shot to death in 2005, "Stop Snitching" even appeared on T-shirts available at stores around Denver. Fields was due to testify in a criminal trial involving an earlier gang-related shooting. These murders were a precursor to a series of brazen witness killings that followed, including that of Kalonniann Clark, who was gunned down in broad daylight just days before she was due to testify against Brian Kenneth Hicks.

Though Hicks was in jail on attempted murder charges on the day of Darrent Williams killing, police impounded an SUV registered to the known gang member in connection with the shooting. Aside from rounding up some "persons of interest," law enforcement have yet to make any arrests in the case.

It doesn't take a T-shirt to let witnesses or informants know they face physical danger if they talk. So maybe that's why some people have resorted to Xerox copies to vent their frustrations. -- Jared Jacang Maher

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.