A recent homebrew rap video posted to Facebook would have been mundane if not for one important element: the setting.
The video, which appeared on Facebook on Sunday, tagged a user named "Jyrone White Bogie Spazzout."
It shows a man in orange scrubs rapping, gazing down at a sheet of paper, standing in what appears to be a jail cell. The austere white walls are covered in graffiti, and a stainless steel sink and toilet bob in and out of view as the camera lists from left to right.
"St. Paul real small, word get around quick," raps the man, who also references "snitchin'" by inmates in "Ramsey County [jail]."
“Free this crazy man,” one Facebook comments reads.
This video is turning heads, and has been viewed more than 3,000 times as of Wednesday night. Sources in the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office corroborated the man in the video is a Ramsey County Jail inmate.
The most obvious question: How did an inmate get his hands on a phone?
Ramsey County Sheriff spokesperson Rebecca Sherman says staff received a tip Tuesday evening that there might be contraband in the jail. The facility went into lockdown, and guards found the cellphone. They resumed normal operation around 3 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon.
Sherman didn’t reveal who the inmate was or how he got the cellphone in the first place, saying only that staff were “actively investigating the incident, and additional detail may be available at a later date.” Searches for the Facebook username associated with the video turned up nothing on the jail’s inmate roster.
The smuggling of contraband comes at a tense time for the Minnesota corrections system. Up until recently, prisons across the state have been on lockdown after Stillwater prison guard Joseph Gomm was beaten to death with a hammer. Edward Mohammed Johnson, currently serving a 29-year sentence on a 2002 conviction for murdering a woman he lived with, has been charged with Gomm's murder.
The Stillwater prison remained on lockdown for weeks, creating conditions some prisoners and their families have called "inhumane."
At Ramsey County Jail, guards didn't turn up any weapons during the facility lockdown, and Sherman says the department has “no reason to believe there was a weapon in the facility.”