A 17-year-old Philadelphia teen was just taken into custody by police for operating an Instagram account that threatened to "expose rats" of violent crimes. Using Instagram? Gangsters are just lazy nowadays—Michael Corleone would be ashamed.
The account, “rats215," operated by Nasheen Anderson, uploaded police statements, photographs of witnesses and victims, along with testimonies that identified more than 30 witnesses. Rats215 amassed more than 7,900 followers and contained more than 150 photos since it was launched in February, and before it was shut down last week (the "215" in the name of the account is a reference to a Philly area code.) The police were notified of the account when a police officer was on Instagram and noticed pictures of witnesses and police statements, which were attributed to the account. The account was meant to intimidate witnesses (and would-be future witnesses) into thinking twice about snitching on the perpetrators of the crimes. “Post some new rats,” a commenter wrote on the account back in September. “I needa put a hit out on them.”
The teen, whose name wasn't released, is charged with making terroristic threats and intimidation. Intimidation, it seems, is a major problem in Philly, as authorities have said they arrest people daily in front of the criminal courts building for taking pictures of victims, their families, or witnesses and judges, to post the images online.
[via New York Post]