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Accused Jersey City gang member charged with exposing “rat” in case on Facebook

December 31, 2016  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Accused Jersey City gang member charged with exposing “rat” in case on Facebook Alleged street gang member Laquan Clark, 31, charged with witness tampering charges.

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Police say a series of witness videos posted on Facebook resulted in the arrest of a purported gang member on witness tampering charges in Jersey City, New Jersey.

On Tuesday afternoon, an unseen man posted a video on Facebook which included him holding up a flash drive.

“This chip right here got everybody that’s telling, yo, like that’s telling in our case,” the man stated. “I’m airing this s*** out as soon as I get in the house.”

The video was posted to the profile of accused Jersey City gang member Laquan Clark. A follow-up caption stated: “Tune in rat exposal jersey city First 48.” The following day, at least four videos posted to Clark’s Facebook profile showed police interviews from an unknown date, with comments on the posts ranging from “That’s why I roll solo don’t need co-defendants they get you caught up” to “ratting at an all top high.”

A video posted to Laquan Clark’s Facebook page on Dec. 27, 2016 shows a portable drive that reportedly contained video police interviews later posted to Clark’s Facebook.

Some of the comments identified the individuals being questioned in the videos. One included a picture of a gun next to a rat.

The posts have been deleted, and 31-year-old Clark is now behind bars. County prosecutors charged the man with two counts of witness tampering.

Esther Suarez, the Hudson County Prosecutor, revealed the arrest on Friday night, saying that the comments on various Facebook posts connected to Clark included death threats against people represented in the interrogation footage.

“Clearly this type of criminal behavior is meant to intimidate and harass any potential witnesses from cooperating with law enforcement,” Suarez said. “We take any interference with the criminal justice system very seriously and will prosecute this individual to the fullest extent of the law.”

Suarez said the videos were created as part of a police investigation into street gang violence in Jersey City.

A screenshot take of the comments section from a now-deleted Facebook post attributed to Laquan Clark. The posters are reacting to a video posted to Clark’s page of a video of police officer questioning one of Clark’s co-defendants.

Clark’s lawyer, Jacob V. Hudnut, told The Jersey Journal that he is working to drop the witness tampering complaints. The videos posted on Facebook were interviews with Clark’s co-defendants, not witnesses, so the witness tampering statute shouldn’t apply.

“The statements allegedly shared are the very same statements that the prosecutor’s office intends to broadcast in a public courtroom at trial,” he added. “It is hypocritical that the prosecutor’s office can broadcast these statements in a courtroom before the media, but Laquan can’t comment on his case on his own Facebook.”

Clark was arrested back in April, along with 14 others who authorities referred to as the city’s “most violent” gang members, and he was facing charges of aggravated assault, gang criminality, robbery and narcotics and weapons offenses, Suarez revealed.

When he was arrested on December 29th, he was released on bail and wearing an ankle GPS device.

According to The Jersey Journal, the videos were likely provided to Clark as part of the discovery of the charges that stem from his April arrest. On Tuesday, a post on Clark’s page showed a package that was sent to him and he said, “Paperwork arrived. Let see how many people pointed fingers.”

Clark faces up to 20 years behind bars on the witness tampering charges if found guilty. His bail has been set at $150,000 cash only.

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