Atlantic City residents fed up with violent crime are using film to spread a bold message; stop the silence on violence.
The Atlantic City School District and local police are producing a Public Service Announcement encouraging residents to report crimes to police.
Geovanny Trower, 17, is one of the young actors playing the role of a criminal.
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“I see a lot of it,” said Geovanny. “So acting for it is the same thing as just watching outside.”
The PSA first shows a violent murder and then two possible scenarios. In the first scenario, tips to police lead to arrests. The second scenario however shows witnesses refusing to talk to police, which leads to a second killing.
“What if it was your family member?” asked Geovanny. “If they killed them would you say something?”
Family members of victims of violent crimes also speak during the video.
“Plenty of people know what happened to my mom,” said Veronica Grant, the daughter of a woman who was murdered. “But no one is saying anything.”
“There’s this phrase out there that says ‘snitches get stitches,” said Detective Dayton Brown of the Atlantic City Police Juvenile Bureau. “But no, snitches get safe streets. And that’s the message we want to convey.”
The PSA will air on Atlantic City’s public access channel. The producers also plan to post it on youtube. They say unlike one-time events such as a town hall meeting or an anti-violence march, they want the video to play over and over again.
“I think that’s the important part,” said Derek Carson, a media coordinator at the Atlantic City School District. “The repetitiveness of being able to deliver this message.”
Organizers hope to have the video on television by Christmas.