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Sunday, December 04, 2005

This makes perfect sense...

Boston Store Ceases Sale of 'Snitch' Shirt

BOSTON (AP) -- A clothing store owner agreed Saturday to stop selling "Stop Snitching" T-shirts amid concerns the message was intimidating murder witnesses during a surge in violent crime.

Store owner Antonio Ennis, after meeting with Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and outraged community leaders, said he would stop selling the shirts in his store and over the Internet.

"It's the right thing to do," Ennis said.

Antonio Ansaldi Clothing has stocked the shirts since 1999 and sold 300 to 400 a month, he said.

Boston has had 66 homicides so far this year, matching a 10-year high, and police haven't identified a suspect in 70 percent of them. Police say many witnesses fear retaliation, and Menino said the "Stop Snitching" shirts are part of the problem.

At a meeting Thursday, the mayor said he would send city employees into shops to seize the shirts.

Lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts asked Menino to abandon that plan.

That "is a form of official censorship which is fundamentally inconsistent with the constitutional guarantees of freedom of expression," John Reinstein, legal director for the ACLU of Massachusetts, said in a statement.

© 2005 The Associated Press.