- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 11, 2005

BALTIMORE — Maryland’s governor and an NBA star from Baltimore joined forces yesterday to announce an anti-violence campaign for TV and film.

“This is real serious stuff,” Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. said, standing amid boarded-up row houses in the city’s crime-plagued East Side. “This is life and death, literally.”

Standing with him was Carmelo Anthony, a 2003 first-round draft pick of basketball’s Denver Nuggets, who recently faced public scorn for appearing in an amateur DVD titled “Stop Snitching,” made by drug dealers to scare potential witnesses against them.

Anthony said he was an unwitting participant in the video and that he hoped his involvement in the anti-violence campaign would show his young fans that he does not support the gangster lifestyle.

“I’m not that type of person,” Anthony said. “I witnessed drugs, killing, prostitution. When I grew up, there was a lot of that. … [But] I’m proud to be involved in an anti-violence campaign.”

The effort, dubbed “Hype vs. Reality,” will include TV public-service announcements featuring Anthony and documentary films of the daily carnage confronted by Dr. Edward Cornwell, chief of adult trauma at Johns Hopkins Hospital, where many of the city’s gunshot victims end up.

“This project is about removing the glamour from the culture of violence,” Dr. Cornwell said. “It is time to be a little bit rude. It is time to show the graphic reality.”

Mr. Ehrlich, a Republican, said the campaign was a collaborative effort among state government, the hospital and community leaders. He said it was a bipartisan effort.

“We want to send a message out: We are not going to put up with witness intimidation, we are not going to put up with losing our neighborhoods,” he said. “It is not black or white. It is not Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative. It is just we are not going to put up with” violent crime.

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