Kudos to Slate for running this excellent piece about snitching. In it, Alexandra Natapoff makes an obvious (at least to a PD) but important point about the "Stop Snitchin' " T-shirt drama.
The T-Shirt in question
She writes that though the controversy over the shirt looks, at first blush, like a dustup over a simple counterculture message launched by some urban criminal entrepreneurs: that friends don't snitch on friends. But it is, in fact, a symptom of a more insidious reality that has largely escaped public notice: For the last 20 years, state and federal governments have been creating criminal snitches and setting them loose in poor, high-crime communities. The backlash against snitches embodies a growing national recognition that snitching is dangerous public policy—producing bad information, endangering innocent people, letting dangerous criminals off the hook, compromising the integrity of police work, and inciting violence and distrust in socially vulnerable neighborhoods.
Exactly right and succinctly put.