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Monday, January 31, 2005
Updated: February 1, 7:33 PM ET
Forward to speak out against drugs, violence

Associated Press

BALTIMORE -- Carmelo Anthony will assist a campaign against drugs and violence after criticism of his appearance in a DVD that warned witnesses about working with the police.

Carmelo Anthony

The announcement coincided with the discovery of another example of witness intimidation in Baltimore. On Monday, officials found graffiti written on the 1st Mariner Arena downtown in permanent black marker: "Stop (expletive) snitching. There a snitch name Juicey aka Tyrone Knox. Rat on whelles."

Prosecutors said they weren't sure of the meaning of "whelles."

Knox, 21, testified recently against a co-defendant in a stomping death from June 2003. The graffiti was removed, and prosecutors said it would be difficult to charge whoever wrote the message with witness intimidation.

Meanwhile, state and federal officials approached the Denver Nuggets star, hoping his celebrity would be a draw. His exact role has not been determined.

A DVD titled "Stop Snitching" has circulated in Baltimore since November. Anthony, a Baltimore native, appears briefly, standing next to a man who warns that anyone who tips off police about drug deals will "get a hole in his head." Anthony, a Baltimore native, doesn't respond to any of the comments on tape but appears in the DVD's credits.

The DVD prompted state lawmakers to propose legislation strengthening penalties for witness intimidation. Gov. Robert Ehrlich mentioned it in his State of the State address last week. Anthony later said he doesn't approve of the DVD's contents and didn't know it was being made.

"I'm completely against violence and drugs -- that's not me," Anthony told The Washington Post. "I just want to get the word out. I've lost friends to violence. I would never support anybody harming anyone."