Snitches are typically portrayed as seeking opportunities to betray unsuspecting fellow criminals to police who don’t respect them but will use them for the greater good. In truth, from what I have been told, police recruit people to act as snitches and send them on assignments. I was told by two different people that after they were arrested an officer said, “I thought we would be hearing from you.” No one wants to look like a snitch so both people told the story as if they blew off the cop who approached, but I know better. People do what they have to do to stay free or get free. One clue someone is a snitch is an inexplicable release from custody. I knew someone who told me an associate had been arrested at 2 a.m. on a Sunday. I called cellblock and he was there are 3 a.m. I called cell block at 6 a.m. and there was no record of that person in the system. I later asked him what happened. He said they took him into a cell in the dungeon-like holding area and asked him for names. According to him they were surprised that they did not know him since he was “so big” as a dealer and he knew so many people. He said they mentioned people to him, he did not volunteer names. If they said a name he knew he confirmed he knew that person since they obviously already had the information. Despite minimizing his role, I think he was very involved in telling on people he pretended to befriend. Or, he was lying to the police about what he was doing. Either way, he was not someone who could be trusted because he was perfectly willing to lie when it suited him. And like most liars I have met, he never called his lies, lies. They were just things he had to say. What disturbed me was one of the people he confirmed for the officers would commit suicide by cop, meaning he pointed a gun, unloaded I heard, at officers, knowing they had to shoot. The informant claimed he kept the guy in the loop about what the police were asking. Even if this was true, could the guy have felt hopeless knowing the police were actively pursuing him and his fate was in the hands of that iffy person. Who knows. What I do know is police are often catalysts and not criminals.