(WASHINGTON) — A federal judge in Washington on Friday ordered a man charged with illegal possession of a firearm and caught by police through social media to be jailed pending trial.
Raheem Snider allegedly streamed live video from his car in Southeast D.C. on Instagram where he showed viewers what appeared to be a pistol with an extended magazine.
Prosecutors later said a “machine gun conversion device” was also attached to the gun to make it fully automatic.
The use of social media and the swift nature of the arrest marks a stark contrast to several high profile shootings recently where authorities only discover red flags and criminal indicators online after the fact.
“It’s just one of our investigative tools,” Metropolitan Police Department spokesperson Dustin Sternbeck told ABC News. “Certainly we encourage anyone in the community to report suspicious or illegal behavior that they might witness on social media so that MPD can act upon it accordingly.”
In arguing for Snider’s pre-trial detention, prosecutors quoted other social media videos they said show Snider’s familiarity with the device including him mentioning a firearm “switch” in rap lyrics which they argued referred to the fully automatic modifications.
Snider’s defense attorney Jose Alejandro German raised questions about the prosecution’s use of rap lyrics in their case against his client, noting a history of bias in the way artistic expression among minorities is perceived. To this end, Judge Zia Faruqui expressed agreement with the defense that the rap lyrics should not be used to assume Snider is inherently dangerous.
The prosecution conceded as much, and noted the lyrics are only pertinent in determining Snider’s familiarity with the device that turns a semi-automatic firearm into one that can fire several rounds with a single pull of the trigger.
Snider was busy last Thursday morning broadcasting live on an Instagram account called “_turkioo,” during which, according to court records, he appeared to be sitting in a car smoking a cannabis joint and at one point shows the handle of a gun. The weapon recovered from the scene was a Glock 30 pistol.
“You know where I’m at, it’s early in the morning,” he said allegedly before panning the camera to show where he was.
Officer Morgan Smiley of the Metropolitan Police Department Crime Suppression Team saw the video and knew exactly where Snider was, recognizing the location was on the 2700 block of Langston Place, Southeast, in Washington, D.C.
Five minutes later police pulled up to Snider and arrested him and, according to charging papers, found him in possession of a Glock 30 pistol with a 25-round magazine and 18 bullets.
Noting 21 prior arrests that resulted in nine convictions which included firearm and drug crimes, prosecutors on Wednesday argued that Raheem Snider poses a danger to the D.C. metro area and should be jailed pending trial.
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