“No Talking” t-shirts have sparked many conversations in Chicago lately. The men behind the design say the shirts are positive, but Chicago police say the shirts are popping up in high crime neighborhoods and intimidating witnesses.
“There’s something going on as far as people wearing no talking t-shirts,” Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said Tuesday.
The t-shirts were designed by two Chicago brothers who were looking for a way to heal after the death of their brother. Mike Chatman was killed in August of 2010. His murder still unsolved.
The Chatman brothers say the “no talking” phrase and apparel are intended to be ways to motivate people into taking action against violence–instead of just talking about it.
“Everybody always talking about what they’re going to do,” Marcus Chatman said, “basically, not letting their actions speak for what they’re doing. So I use the words no talking to make them step up on their action.”
T-shirts, caps, cups and jackets bearing #NoTalking are sold exclusively on the company’s website, and the hash-tag has gained strength on Twitter.
But recently, police sources told FOX 32 News that the “no talking” gear is showing up at crime scenes, while investigators are talking to possible witnesses about gang and gun violence.
“He should’ve put more on that than ‘no talking.'”
People who live in one of Chicago’s high crime areas told FOX 32 that the shirts are confusing.
“I would say, to be honest with you, keep my mouth closed,” LaRue Jones said.
“Well, when you say no talking, that’s basically saying don’t talk to the police,” Angela Banks said. “That’s not saying don’t talk amongst ourselves. That’s basically saying don’t tell the police anything.”
The Chatman brothers say no matter what people think, their message is positive and it will stay that way.