And if, beyond fear or issues with police, it comes down to simple allegiance to a long-standing street code, Vonda Bowser says: “They loyal to a lie. They think it’s a code that everybody goes by, but when those guys get in jail they’re makin’ deals.”
“It’s them wanting to fit in, be part of something that’s really not real,” she says. “Like, ‘I got your back, I’m your boy.’ My son was like, ‘No those my friends, they down, we down, they cool,’ and that’s not true—his so-called friends who know who killed him won’t say anything. Now the person who killed my son might go back out there and kill someone else.”
Bowser, who worries about the future for her young grandson—left fatherless when Wood was gunned down—says she’s glad that Torain is “stepping up and trying to do something,” and she hopes that Start Snitching will begin to expose that lie, bring justice to killers and get violent criminals off the streets.
Torain’s only too happy to oblige. “Somebody has to stand up and say, ‘I wanna put you in a place called the penitentiary if you’re shooting into a crowd, if you’re shooting some hardworking father in the neck, if it’s a reckless shooting because you’re high or you wanna have fun.’ This shit is unacceptable, and if we don’t start snitching, we’re gonna keep destroying ourselves from the inside.”
The cops may have her killers, but friends and neighbors of Aguirre-Alonso insist that in the weeks before her death, cops put the 29-year-old’s life at risk by making it obvious to everyone on her violence-plagued Badlands block that she was being questioned as a witness to Chevere’s murder.
PW's Taste of Philly 2014
Election Day 2014: Tues., Nov. 4