"Damn...you can't trust a soul."


Victoria is a Catholic Navy wife and a new mom. Dahvie is an incarcerated Chicago gang member. They write letters back and forth (you can learn more about it here). In this post, Dahvie describes a shakedown experienced by him and his cellmate (cellie).


Dahvie: My cell is completely trashed.  Clothes everywhere trash everywhere, pictures ripped off the wall.  My real pictures scattered all over the place.  This is  example of  real shakedown.  Here I was sittin in front of my cell watchin Miss America as 30 COs [correctional officers] ran in and attacked my room.  Me bein me sat there ignoring all orders to get on the ground s they was coming in.  They damn near ran me over.  17 officers all fightin to gt inside this lil ass cell to put cuffs on me and my cellie.  My cellie dumbass was in the bed sleep.  They snatched his ass right out the bed and threw em to the floor, which was no where cuz he on the bottom bunk.  Noticin his aggressiveness he then asked the man is he alirght.  These people crazy.  In nothin but my boxers I was cuffed and escorted down stairs.  My cellie and I a victim to some snitchin ass nigga.  He told them people we had drugs in our cell I guess to get off the hook for the fight he was involved in earlier that morning.  Like 9 niggas fought over the phone today so we was all ready on lockdown.  Dude ended up tellin the police where the drugs was at and got my cell hit.  Now dude back in P. C. [protective custody], while my cellie went to the hole.  Crazy thing about it all is dude who told is my cellie homie from the world!  Damn…you can’t trust a soul.

Victoria: Oh wow.  What’s really interesting for me is that all of this seems really over the top.  Like, was 17 officers an exaggeration?  17 officers for two guys and a little cell.  It seems like overkill.  Like they were going in expecting Spider Man or something.  Sorry, not to joke about this, but I just don’t see the logic in that.  Maybe I’m missing something.

I was listening to a podcast (“Serial”) which has been discussing the justice system in Cleveland.  One thing they focused on for a while was “snitching.”  How snitching is considered to be such an evil thing among inmates, guys on the street, etc.  No one talks to law enforcement, no one wants to be a snitch.  And, honestly, the snitch in your story sounds like an asshole.  Snitching on people to get out of trouble, that’s really low.  But, honestly, if I were asking by the cops, by c.o.s, or the authorities for information, I would probably tell them the truth.  I don’t have that innate aversion to giving information to the authorities like you do.  It’s something that I’m working to understand.

As a related tangent, however, I can see kind of the groundwork for your mindset.  This is kind of silly but strangely related.  I work for my school’s aftercare, and most of this is focused around working with four particular pre-school students.  They’ve gotten into the habit of tattle-telling.  For one, it’s SUPER annoying for me who is in charge.  I really don’t care if someone broke a crayon.  I really don’t.  What’s more, the tattle-telling usually is to get one particular kid in trouble (a kid they don’t like) and I find that to be incredibly cruel.  Not to say your situation is like you’re acting like four-year-olds, but I can definitely see how these behaviors start and develop, and why they would be so damaging.