Inmate rap video has officials concerned about jail security, fallout in Ramsey County

A cell phone video that first surfaced on social media features what appears to be a jailhouse inmate rapping about gangs, snitches and St. Paul.  

With graffiti scrawled on the wall behind him, an inmate rapped, “Now they down in Ramsey county and they snitching, confidential informant.”

According to Ramsey County Chief Deputy Steve Frazer, he cannot conclusively say that the incident occurred in the Ramsey County Jail.

The Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office, responsible for jail security in St. Paul, was first made aware of the video earlier this week. The jail went into a full lockdown to search for potential contraband.

Frazer confirmed a phone was recovered, but was unsure if it was, in fact, used to record the crude music video.

What Frazer did make clear is that investigators now know exactly how the banned device got through the detention center’s security apparatus.

“The mechanism of how that phone got into the jail is known to us,” Frazer said. “The people involved are known to us.”

“St. Paul real small,” rapped the inmate. “Word get around real quick.”

While criminal charges for the smuggling of a phone might be on the horizon, local law enforcement gang expert Mike Martin is raising more immediate concerns.

He thinks there could be potentially dangerous fallout from a video message sent by an apparent gang member, which was viewed online by thousands.

“Something like this video has repercussions on the streets. It leads to retaliation,” said Martin.

“He used the video to glorify his own gang,” Martin continued. “To challenge rivals and to intimidate people who are cooperating with police.”