Denver Nuggets star Carmelo Anthony is featured in an underground DVD that is circulating in his home town of Baltimore, Md.
Carmelo Anthony appears in a DVD called "Stop Snitching" with a self-confessed drug dealer.
The DVD is called "Stop Snitching" and shows alleged drug dealers talking about what happens to people who cooperate with the police, and Anthony is standing next to one of them.
He is also seen on the DVD talking about his Olympic bronze medal and saying that he threw it in a lake. The man he stands next to later goes on to tell how he would take care of snitches by "putting a hole in their head." However, Anthony does not appear to be taking part in that portion of the discussion.
The DVD showed up for sale for $10 within the last week on Baltimore's streets. The production includes music, dancing and spoken messages, with clips showing men stuffing wads of cash into their pockets, driving in convertibles, smoking marijuana and flashing diamond-encrusted watches.
In one segment, Anthony stands on a street, wearing a red shirt and baseball hat and laughing while another man talks about life on the street, snitches and the NBA. Anthony, 20, doesn't respond to any of the comments about violence, except to laugh. The credits of the DVD include a special thanks to "Melo," Anthony's nickname.
The DVD is produced by an alleged drug dealer named Skinny Shuge.
Carmelo's agent, Calvin Andrews, told 7SPORTS that Carmelo did not know he would be in the video.
"I don't think he ever knew that this was going to be on a DVD and, if he did, I don't think he would ever get involved with it or have any affiliation with it at all," said Andrews.
Andrews said that Anthony grew up on the streets of Baltimore, where murders and drug deals happen often, but he doesn't expect a lot of people to understand that type of environment.
"I just think he was hanging out with some guys that he probably knew growing up and was just hanging out ... They got to talking and the last thing he was going to do is run away from it, so he just hung out with the guys. The last thing he thought is that it would be a production -- a DVD selling in the streets," Andrews said.
The DVD's cover bears the title, "Stop Snitching," and a photocopied image and name for the apparent artist, "Skinny Suge." The cover also has photocopied images of what appear to be dead shooting victims.
"How many kids do you think are going to watch this DVD and think it's OK because Carmelo was there?" asked Marc Cannadi, 37, an activist who spent 20 years in prison for armed robbery, attempted murder and drug distribution. "This sends an insidious message that drugs are the only way to achieve this type of success."
Anthony said Friday the DVD was made when he visited Baltimore last summer after the Athens Olympics.
Michael Millemann, a University of Maryland-Baltimore professor specializing in criminal law said the DVD didn't appear to give prosecutors reason to charge Anthony.
"Anthony didn't say it, so his mere presence is not enough to assume that he's got criminal liability," Millemann said. "And we don't know the context in which the speaker said it -- whether it was a joke or just a stupid comment or whether the speaker was intending to threaten someone."
But community activists in Baltimore's inner city say Anthony's appearance in the DVD, even if unintentional, could make their jobs harder.
"There's nothing wrong for the guys who make it out of the ghetto to come back to the dirt. But come back and make a real difference," said Walker Gladden III, an activist who mentors children in areas of high drug trafficking. "If he was here talking about positive things in our community, how many kids would come running to see what that was about?"
Benita Paschall, executive director of the Baltimore Prevention Coalition, said the DVD might be "far more harmless than we think it is. It could be no more dangerous than the stuff they're already seeing on MTV or other places. On the other hand, it's certainly difficult for us to compete with these kinds of messages."
Anthony said the DVD was no worse than commercial productions.
"You watch music videos all day and see that," he said. "You could say the same thing if I was in a music video. I'm not really concerned about it. ... I don't hang with drug dealers. I surround myself with good people."
Matt Jablow, a spokesman for Baltimore's police department, said Friday that police "are quite familiar with most of the people shown on the DVD."
He said no arrests were planned. "Anybody can make a DVD; it's not illegal."
Mayor Martin O'Malley did not respond to requests for comment Friday.
Since a 2001 firebombing deaths of neighborhood activist Angela Dawson, her husband and five of her children after she reported a dealer to police, O'Malley has mounted a "Believe" advertising campaign asking residents to cooperation with police.
Dawson's mother, Donnell Golden, called the DVD a reflection of life in some Baltimore neighborhoods.
"That DVD is telling people straight up what's going to happen to them," Golden said. "Some people are going to stand up to the dealers anyway, and some are going to back away. It's a choice that each person has to make. My daughter didn't look away. She did what we should all do. Stand up and fight."
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