MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - Minneapolis Police are finding evidence in the very place where gang members are flaunting their crimes - social media.
Often officers don't need a warrant because the videos are public. Last week, charges came down against four alleged gang members in Minneapolis and prosecutors using their own video against them. The Hennepin County Attorney's Office later sent FOX 9 a link to video, calling it an example of how they're using every possible tool to fight crime.
Minneapolis attorney Joe Tamborino says social media has become a useful tool for police.
"It's credible evidence and it's demonstrative evidence in that you see these individuals with guns," said Tamburino.
In the case of the rap video, police watched as the clip was posted this past January. Officers were waiting outside when the men left this house on the 1000 block of North 7th Street and stopped their cars moments later. Police arrested the four alleged gang members for threats made in the video and for carrying unlicensed guns.
“You would think in most of these situations, especially when you have people who are allegedly gang members, you'd want to be to be under the radar and unknown,” said Tamburino. “But in today's world, it's the opposite. You want the world to see what you are doing."
It's that quest for attention that is leading to a rise in social media evidence. In the case of a north Minneapolis shoot out earlier this month that killed one man and wounded seven, a Facebook video is also proving useful.
Court documents show Minneapolis Police pursuing online video as part of their ongoing case.
In a court of law, experts say this video should be considered extremely strong evidence and if these cases are any guide, it's evidence that will start to pop up more and more.