Police Crack Down On Instagram Crime Account - Philadelphia News, Weather and Sports from WTXF FOX 29

Police Crack Down On Instagram Crime Account

Posted: Updated:

Philadelphia Police are cracking down on a new social media craze that tries to "out" crime witnesses.

Stop snitching. We've seen it on tee shirts, hats, even street signs and now online, available right there in the palm of your hand on your smart phone. But the latest high tech way to out witnesses could be putting lives on the line.

Beatrice Randolph was shocked to hear about the account when her daughter called, telling her to check out the Instagram account. The site, designed to ‘out' suspected cooperating witnesses in Philadelphia criminal cases, showed her son, who is not a cooperating witness.

She now worries that because of this, her son's life could be in danger.

"The only way these young men will be able to be saved is if they are moved." said Randolph.

Randolph became even more frightened when she saw her son's photo, the statements to police on a murder case he was charged in, as well as other documents that were all posted on @rats215 for followers to see. Her son has been charged incompetent to stand trial, but he has been the main target of repeated beatings in prison.

"He said he had to fight for his life. So he would call me and I would have to put him in protective custody."

said Randolph.

Philadelphia Police are currently investigating the site where information has been shown, that reached as high as 30 criminal witnesses. This raises questions about witness intimidation and the disclosure of secret Grand Jury testimony.

Often times the individuals have nothing to do with the case; it is just a recording of their name.

Some are troubled to see information on innocent witnesses with no criminal cases being included in the released information.

The Police Department has opened a criminal investigation trying to find out who started the account and where this information came from. Statements and documents between defense attorneys and clients is not something out of the ordinary, but the information being passed around to the wrong hands could cause some serious issues.

These aren't just local cases either. They include federal and state cases as well.

The page has since been taken down and the Police and DA's office began investigating. Police have identified a suspect for leaking the information and trying to intimidate a witness. So far, no one has been charged with starting the site, but Beatrice is hopeful this will change soon.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Evesham Police: Suspicious Package Found In Municipal Complex

    Evesham Police: Suspicious Package Found In Municipal Complex

    Evesham Police: Suspicious Package Found In Municipal Complex

    Thursday, April 24 2014 7:51 AM EDT2014-04-24 11:51:43 GMT
    Evesham Police Department are conducting an investigation into a suspicious package found inside the lobby of the Evesham Municipal Complex.Evesham Police Department are conducting an investigation into a suspicious package found inside the lobby of the Evesham Municipal Complex.
    The complex was immediately evacuated this morning and New Road was shut down after an officer discovered the device.
    The complex was immediately evacuated this morning and New Road was shut down after an officer discovered the device.
  • Ramsey: Deliveryman's Shooting By Police Looks Like 'Tragic Miscommunication'

    Ramsey: Deliveryman's Shooting By Police Looks Like 'Tragic Miscommunication'

    Thursday, April 24 2014 7:30 AM EDT2014-04-24 11:30:04 GMT
    Police say a man shot and wounded by plainclothes officers in Philadelphia is a pizza deliveryman who may have mistaken them for robbers.
    Police say a man shot and wounded by plainclothes officers in Philadelphia is a pizza deliveryman who may have mistaken them for robbers.
  • Man In Critical Condition After Germantown Shooting

    Man In Critical Condition After Germantown Shooting

    Man In Critical Condition After Germantown Shooting

    Thursday, April 24 2014 7:28 AM EDT2014-04-24 11:28:07 GMT
    Police responded to a report of a shooting on Wayne Ave and Chelten Ave at 10:26pm Wednesday night outside of Victor's Tavern.
    Police responded to a report of a shooting on Wayne Ave and Chelten Ave at 10:26pm Wednesday night outside of Victor's Tavern.
Powered by WorldNow

WTXF-TV
330 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106-2796

Phone: (215) 925-2929
Fax: (215) 982-5494

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices