Witness Statements in Philadelphia End Up On Anti-Snitch Instagram

Witness statements given to secret grand juries in Philadelphia have surfaced on an Instagram account dedicated to "expose rats," revealing the names of hundreds of violent crime witnesses.

The account, "rats215," posted more than 30 statements given to police by witnesses, with their full names and details of the crimes included. At least one witness has reported that he's been shot at after his name was revealed online.

It's unclear how the Instagram account, which is no longer active, came into possession of the court documents, which were created by secret grand juries investigating violent crime. The account was updated daily to include photos of witnesses testifying and personal information. It had almost 8,000 followers.

"Post some new rats," a commenter wrote in September, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. "I needa put a hit out on them."

"People feel they can hide behind a name," Lt. John Walker of the Philadelphia Police Department told the Inquirer. "It's a challenge we're facing and a challenge we're attempting to work through."