Dying Teen Takes Killer's Name to Grave

Extreme case of anti-snitch mentality

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    The recession is partly to blame for a spike in the sale of burial plots at cemeteries and funeral-property web sites across the country.

    On the streets of Chicago, many troubled youth live by the code of silence. At least one has died by it.

    Robert Tate, 17, was shot in the chest last Monday, April 12, in the Humboldt Park neighborhood, reports the Sun-Times.

    The young man, who already had 14 arrests in his short life, was badly wounded, and police were doubtful of his survival.

    A police officer asked Tate if he knew who shot him.

    "I know," Tate reportedly said, "but I ain't telling you s---."

    Tate died shortly thereafter, as paramedics tried to save him.

    While police are familiar with the anti-snitch mentality in tough neighborhoods, Harrison Area Commander Anthony Riccio tells the Sun-Times that this is an extreme example.

    "I have never seen anyone take it to the grave," Riccio said.

    Police are investigating, reviewing footage from blue-light cameras in the area.

    Riccio says people on the street have told him that Tate had been ripping off drug buyers in the weeks before his death.  Dealers apparently warned him to stop, but he didn't listen. 

    Officials are also reminding the public, via their "Silence Kills" campaign, that people can call the police anonymously or send text messages to 274637 (CRIMES).

    Matt Bartosik is a Chicago native and a social media sovereign.