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POLICE GET THE SCOOP FROM RAP

SHARE POLICE GET THE SCOOP FROM RAP

Graffiti is the "newspaper of the streets," giving police valuable information about which gangs are active, which gangs are allied or at war, and even which individual gang members are on the streets.

And rap music, especially gangster rap, plays a similar role but on a larger scale, according to a nationally known member of the state's Division of Investigation.Sgt. Ron Stallworth graphically outlined what he's learned - and passed along to other investigators - from studying music by such national artists as Ice T.

The music isn't pretty but it's valuable to police, Stallworth said Wednesday at the Davis Metro Gang Unit seminar.

It tells of shifting alliances in the gang world, weapons of choice, new drugs on the market, and attitudes toward society in general and police in particular, Stallworth said.

He also urged parents and others who are offended by the music to ignore it instead of attacking it. Boycotts, bans, and calls for censorship only bring the music and rappers attention and money, Stallworth said.

"If you don't like it, ignore it. Don't buy it. But don't try to ban it or boycott it," said Stallworth, a Layton resident. "You're just going to make those guys rich. They laugh all the way to the bank," he said.

"Let it evolve, study it, and let it die a natural death," he urged.

Stallworth's talk, laced with humor and his own talented rendition of rap lyrics, has earned him national attention.