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An inside look: "no-snitch" mentality

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

 Why don't people come to police?

KWWL sat down with someone on the inside to talk about just that.

He didn't want to be identified for fear of his own safety, even though he isn't involved with any recent crime.

He says there are good reasons people won't talk to police.

"If someone wants to find your family, where your mother works, where your little sister goes to school, they can find out," he says.

Police say they understand people are afraid, but withholding evidence doesn't lead to arrests.

The person we interviewed agrees, but says that doesn't change anything.

"It's reckless and it's dangerous, but it's a code of honor."

But fear isn't the only driving force.

"It's usually just a vicious cycle," he says. "There's an incident, and people don't want justice. They want vengeance."

Even when it involves innocent lives.

"Like in the four year old shooting, people probably know who did it. But they're not going to go to police, they're going to go get them themselves," he says.

He calls it self-policing, and it's no smooth operation -- especially when multiple groups are gunning to be in charge.

"You have people fighting over property they don't own. They think they own a block, but they have landlords."

He says the no-snitch culture has been around for a long time, but police say it'll take people coming forward for these crimes to stop happening any time soon.

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