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Correction to This Article
A Jan. 31 Metro article incorrectly said that U.S. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) is chairman of the House Government and Oversight Committee's subcommittee on criminal justice, drug policy and human resources. The committee is the Government Reform Committee, and Cummings is the subcommittee's ranking Democrat, not its chairman.
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NBA Star To Aid Md. Drug Fight

Cummings, chairman of the House Government and Oversight Committee's Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources subcommittee, said the DVD will be shown at hearings on witness intimidation this spring.

"This video was produced in the district where seven members of a family were burned to death because they cooperated with police about drug dealers," Cummings said. He added that a substantial percentage of serious criminal cases never make it to trial because of witness intimidation. Cummings said the DVD and Anthony's appearance in it "caused me great concern."

Denver star Carmelo Anthony plans to help authorities in Maryland in a campaign against drugs and violence. (Jeff Chiu - AP)

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Margaret Burns, spokeswoman for Baltimore State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy, said Jessamy ordered her staff to copy and distribute the DVD to lawmakers in Annapolis to help drive home the point that prosecutors need witness intimidation legislation -- and quickly.

Anthony said the controversy has taught him lessons about trying to go home again.

"I know I was just at the wrong place at the wrong time," he said. "I've learned that I have to know when I'm out there, who's around me."

Anthony has had public image troubles since leading Denver to the playoffs in his rookie season. Anthony alienated some fans last summer by appearing to pout during the Olympic Games in Athens, when U.S. coach Larry Brown played him sparingly. "I don't need a guy who doesn't buy in," Brown fumed after hearing Anthony's complaints about playing time.

Anthony said he was visiting Baltimore when some longtime friends approached and started talking to him. Another man videotaped them talking.

He heard about the video from a friend two months later but wasn't concerned because he didn't know its content.

"I blew it off because I didn't know what they were talking about," he said. "Then I started reading the articles. I was like, 'Let me find out what is going on.' "

The controversy came at a time when Anthony, who led Syracuse University to an NCAA championship in 2003 as a freshman, was receiving much of the blame for a disappointing start to Denver's season. Anthony's shooting accuracy has dropped from last season.

Prince George's County State's Attorney Glenn F. Ivey, who has lobbied for witness protection legislation, credited Anthony for his willingness to cooperate not only on the wrongs of witness intimidation but also on the "gangsta mentality" of the hip-hop subculture.

"It is something all of us need to be focusing on," he said. "It's great to have someone of his stature and credibility participating."

Staff writers Eric Rich and Greg Sandoval contributed to this report.

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