'Snitches get stitches' mentality creates obstacle for Fayettevi - WRBL

'Snitches get stitches' mentality creates obstacle for Fayetteville police

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A Fayetteville Police detective hands out flyers Monday, asking for more information in the kidnapping, robbery and murder of Errol Williams. A Fayetteville Police detective hands out flyers Monday, asking for more information in the kidnapping, robbery and murder of Errol Williams.

Fayetteville police are dealing with a major challenge to find suspects in a cold-blooded killing.

Police say three to four men kidnapped Errol Williams from a gas station on Bragg Boulevard and then killed him early Sunday morning.

They have arrested one man, but they continue searching for other suspects Kelly Elliot and Anthony Porter.

Late Thursday, police named another suspect - Kourtney Reed. His warrants are for 1st Degree Murder, 1st Degree Kidnapping (2 counts), Robbery With a Dangerous Weapon and Conspiracy to Commit Robbery

Fayetteville Police Chief Harold Medlock said some people have come forward to get detectives this far along - to help them name the suspects, but he feels people who may be able to help find them are holding back because they're afraid of getting involved.

"All we're asking is to give us a chance," Medlock said. "Let us demonstrate and prove to you that you can provide us information, we'll hold it confidential, and we'll follow up on that information."

Sharon McDuffie Smith said she would like to see more people speak up with information that could help police. She said her son was kidnapped and murdered a few years ago when she lived in Indiana.

"Somebody's mother is suffering because of some other mother's child," McDuffie-Smith said.

So after Williams was kidnapped and killed Sunday, she's been following the story closely. She just wishes the community's interest in the case would translate into better tips for police.

"Someone, even today, saw that picture and they know of something or someone and won't say anything because of the word on the street, 'snitches get stitches,'" McDuffie-Smith said.

Chief Medlock said that's just an urban legend – that tips really can be anonymous and that police have no interest in sharing names of tipsters.

"Most of the time these guys find out who told on them because somebody's bragging about it in the community," Medlock explained. "So if you give us a tip just don't tell anybody you gave us a tip."

McDuffie-Smith said people have to be willing to make a change in themselves. She said people can't be afraid to do what they think is right.

"The community needs to speak up and speak out 'cause if it's this person today, it may be you tomorrow," she said. "We don't know."

Brandon Herring

Brandon is a North Carolina native and UNC alum who lives in Fayetteville, and covers Cumberland County and the Sandhills. Returning to North Carolina to work as a journalist is a dream come true for Brandon. More>>

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