the true definition of a snitch: someone who commits a crime but then blames an accomplice so that he can negotiate a lighter sentence or even go free. Often he tells lies and incriminates the innocent. People like that are the real snitches and they are cowardly. Snitching is a way for criminals to game the system.Thank you, sir. This message cannot be repeated often enough. "Snitch" is not a synonym for "witness."
But not everyone who talks to police is a snitch. If you're a victim of a crime and you or someone you trust cooperates with them, you are not a snitch. If you try to get rid of negativity in your community, you are not "hot" or a snitch.
I blame the hip-hop industry for spreading confusion about the definition of snitching. I also understand that the artists are just trying to sell records by glorifying a criminal and prison culture they often know nothing about.
Criminals who trade information to reduce culpability for their crimes - informants, snitches, rats, CIs, whatever you want to call them - pose serious policy risks that frequently produce wrongful convictions and cause police to tolerate crime. That kind of snitching justifiably deserves scorn, Moten writes, but "When a citizen witnesses crime and decides to be civically responsible, this doesn't constitute snitching; it's doing the right thing."
See prior, related Grits items on snitching.