How a Family Almost Got Shot and Gassed: a Swatting Story

Karloff

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How a Family Almost Got Shot and Gassed: a Swatting Story


'When you have twenty, twenty five guns aimed at you without the safeties on ... you start shaking.'

Swatting [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/136068-SWAT-Raids-Counter-Strike-Player-Live-on-Twitch] has become an all too familiar occurrence. God alone knows who thinks it would be funny to get someone else shot in a police raid; as Maxcuster X points out, you can't have the internet without trolls. Case in point, Maxcuster's own Swatting, in which he, his wife, his children and his infant daughter were all put at risk by some jagoff who thought it would be amusing to re-enact Grand Theft Auto V.

The story's best told in Maxcuster's own words. He said nothing at the time, hoping to deny the troll his jollies. Whoever it was went to great lengths to ensure the cops would want to come in shooting. It's anyone's guess what might have happened next, if Maxcuster and his wife hadn't realized what was going on and made contact with the police.

"What a game, huh?" sighs Maxcuster. "Real funny." There's not much that can be done, he admits, without giving up the internet altogether. Nice or nasty, doesn't matter; the people who do this are looking for a target, and don't care what or who they hit.

Maxcuster X hasn't given up. He wants to keep on doing the thing that he loves. If you want to see more of his stuff, have a look over here at his YouTube [https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCshY1djWJllhSITYblGPgLQ].



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008Zulu_v1legacy

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So do these trolls really think they are getting away with it? 911/emergency service numbers in general, automatically logs your number and address you are calling from (the police system bypasses all those blocked number filters) before the first word is uttered. Can't call 911 over Skype, so you can't hide that way either. Do they not think these things through? Need tougher penalties I say.
 

Karloff

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Question, is "swatting" a thing in anywhere but the U.S.?
I've not heard of any cases outside the U.S.
Is this another symptom of the police-as-military-just-without-the-training culture in the U.S.?
 

Matthi205

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BinDipper said:
Question, is "swatting" a thing in anywhere but the U.S.?
I've not heard of any cases outside the U.S.
Is this another symptom of the police-as-military-just-without-the-training culture in the U.S.?
I think that may be part of it. In most other countries, police forces aren't allowed that heavy armament. It may also be that most of the idiots calling the police haven't been caught.
 

List

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My question is, how are they doing this?
I doubt they were using payphones, why aren't they punished?
Why do the trolls know the victim's address to begin with?


Swatting becoming common means that those that do it suffer no consequences, which makes it an attractive tool for "trolling" people.
 

AstaresPanda

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Whats wrong with America. Ive not heard this anywhere else. I think the guy is broad stroking abit here if it was the gamin community as a whole then this shit would be happening alot more. I just dont get how they think they can get away with it, i mean remember this 16 year old kid recently that got sent down for years for sending SWAT in to some guys CS stream. But i really diagree that this is ALL THE EVIL GAMING COMMUNITY.
 

Floppertje

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Is this thing common on twitch? not just the swatting but the whole harassment, repeatedly coming back after being banned just for the sake of ruining someone's stream? Has anyone actually seen it happen?
 

Cowabungaa

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BinDipper said:
Question, is "swatting" a thing in anywhere but the U.S.?
I've not heard of any cases outside the U.S.
Is this another symptom of the police-as-military-just-without-the-training culture in the U.S.?
Not a symptom as such, just idiots abusing that culture 'for the lulz.' The war on drugs & terror really did a number on US police forces.

The fact that people think this is a silly joke is a symptom of the callousness and dehumanization that comes with the anonymity of the digital sphere.
 

Karloff

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BinDipper said:
Question, is "swatting" a thing in anywhere but the U.S.?
I've not heard of any cases outside the U.S.
Is this another symptom of the police-as-military-just-without-the-training culture in the U.S.?
It may have more to do with state borders. If I prank call from Alabama, but the target is in Arkansas, the Arkansas state law can't come after me. The Federals can, but then it boils down to whether or not the FBI's going to spend time and resources investigating what amounts to a wasting police time offense. Of course, if ever someone actually gets shot then things will change dramatically.

Whereas if I were doing this in the UK, and prank called Nottingham while living in Leeds, there are no borders to consider, and the cops will probably be more than happy to turn up at my door.
 

shirkbot

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BinDipper said:
Question, is "swatting" a thing in anywhere but the U.S.?
I've not heard of any cases outside the U.S.
Is this another symptom of the police-as-military-just-without-the-training culture in the U.S.?
Matthi205 said:
I think that may be part of it. In most other countries, police forces aren't allowed that heavy armament. It may also be that US law simply doesn't permit for persecution of the idiots who called the police in the first place (as far as I can tell, anyway).
There are penalties for filing false reports with the police, and the level of penalty correlates directly to the lie. If we use this video as an example, the caller will face felony charges (highest level of US crime) for lying about a murder.

I would argue that this is not directly connected to the militarization of police since the threats the SWAT teams are supposed to respond to are things like bombs and suspects that are considered to be armed and very dangerous. They have to take the call seriously, even when it turns out to be utter garbage, because there is too much at stake in ignoring it.

OT: Kudos to Maxcustard, and double to his wife. They faced an incredibly volatile situation and came out okay. But seriously, this can only happen so many times before someone really does get killed, and then nobody is going to be happy. The SWAT team is not a joke and it is not a toy. People fucking die in SWAT raids. Whoever thinks this is funny clearly has no idea just how dangerous the situation they are creating actually is.
 

Karloff

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BinDipper said:
Question, is "swatting" a thing in anywhere but the U.S.?
I've not heard of any cases outside the U.S.
Is this another symptom of the police-as-military-just-without-the-training culture in the U.S.?
Most countries it isn't easy to do it. You need a large amount of people calling at once. In Australia, they'd be more likely to send a lone police officer to knock on the guys door first.
 

nightmare_gorilla

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yeah, this swatting thing is dumb and really dangerous someone is going to get killed, honestly i'm surprised no one has yet. I hope nobody does but I just feel it in my bones that soon someone is going to react the wrong way and get killed. so seriously knock it off.


i'm curious how anyone thinks this is funny anyway? I can wrap my head around the idea of it being funny to call the cops on someone listening to a shoot em up movie too loudly or playing a shooter game yeah I've heard stories but once it comes down to real honest to god no kidding around assault weapons being pointed at people it's not funny it's just scary, for everyone. my question is when someone does get killed in one of these swat raids will there be any legal liability for the caller? I hope so.
 

castlewise

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Jul 18, 2010
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Its crap like this why stopped bringing my hobby to work with me. I can't be openly part of a community which supports things like swatting.


I don't want to go on too much of a rant, but the Escapist and other videogame news outlets aren't helping by reporting these things. The idiots who do these hoaxes want to be noticed. Letting something they did run amok all over the news sites just makes them feel more powerful.
 

gamegod25

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List said:
My question is, how are they doing this?
I doubt they were using payphones, why aren't they punished?
Why do the trolls know the victim's address to begin with?


Swatting becoming common means that those that do it suffer no consequences, which makes it an attractive tool for "trolling" people.
That's what I'm curious about. I mean do they not require the person calling in to give their name and address too? Or at least know their number so they can track them down?

I would think wasting the police's (especially a SWAT team's) valuable time and money on a false alarm would warrant tracking the fucker down and either locking them up or forcing them to pay a large fine. It wouldn't be so funny if the brat was staring down a couple grand in fines or face most of his life in prison.
 

Floppertje

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Karloff said:
BinDipper said:
Question, is "swatting" a thing in anywhere but the U.S.?
I've not heard of any cases outside the U.S.
Is this another symptom of the police-as-military-just-without-the-training culture in the U.S.?
It may have more to do with state borders. If I prank call from Alabama, but the target is in Arkansas, the Arkansas state law can't come after me. The Federals can, but then it boils down to whether or not the FBI's going to spend time and resources investigating what amounts to a wasting police time offense. Of course, if ever someone actually gets shot then things will change dramatically.

Whereas if I were doing this in the UK, and prank called Nottingham while living in Leeds, there are no borders to consider, and the cops will probably be more than happy to turn up at my door.
Really? That's how it works? Can't the Arkansas state law just hand it over to the Alabama state law?
Usually I'm all for personal freedom, less government interference and flexibility when it comes to police authority, but if you call a swat team to someone's house, someone who did you no harm and is trying to entertain people, you waste taxpayers' resources and create both emotional trauma and the very real possibility of someone getting killed, all because, at best, you have a misguided sense of humor and want to have a laugh or at worst because you're a gigantic dick and you get some kind of perverted pleasure out of ruining somebody's evening, YOU SHOULD GO TO PRISON!
 

Thaluikhain

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nightmare_gorilla said:
yeah, this swatting thing is dumb and really dangerous someone is going to get killed, honestly i'm surprised no one has yet. I hope nobody does but I just feel it in my bones that soon someone is going to react the wrong way and get killed. so seriously knock it off.
Would we necessarily know if it had happened?

Police raids go wrong ever so often, we might hear that it was "bad intel" or something, but not hear it was a prank.

Personally, I can't think of why anyone would try this unless they were hoping the people were injured or killed. Hell, do this to someone you knew was drunk at the time, or who came from a minority group...
 

tdylan

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I didn't watch the video because the article, I think, explains it well enough. My problem with all of these is that yes "how does it get to this point?" I understand a SWAT team reporting to what they believe to be a legitimate threat, but the "barging in the door, safeties off" does not seem like the best approach to me. I understand that it's not like in the movies, but in those tense situations, do they not worry about shooting the wrong person?

For example, let's say that it is legit, and the criminal has hostages. SWAT barges into the room, the criminal is startled, and a frightened hostage sees this as an opportunity to flee. So they do. SWAT sees the hostage, but only recognizes it as "someone moving quickly," so they shoot first, ask questions after. Now we have a dead innocent person because they didn't bother to gather any intel on the room that they were about to break into. Assume these are real threats: shouldn't they at least try to get an idea of how many people are in the room, and how many of them might be threats BEFORE barging in? And also where they are, so that they don't barge into the room and end up getting shot in the back by someone unaccounted for?

Personally, if I'm sitting at my computer when my door kicks in, I don't think "SWAT team," I think "home invasion. I need to protect my wife and daughter." With that state of mind, I'm not apt to comply just because someone is yelling "get down on the floor." In the panic, for all I know, it's a criminal yelling that at me. Assume they also have lights shining in my eyes so I can't identify them as police, and all they see is a guy running toward them. I get gunned down because "we were responding to a call, breached, and a suspect rushed us." That's what makes these type of situations unsettling to me. Some asshole wants to call the police, fine. They show up? Good. They're being prudent. But if I were to call the fire department saying there was a fire, do they kick in the door with hoses going? Or do they assess the situation first so that they know what they're getting into?
 

Grabehn

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tdylan said:
While I'd like to say something else, the short answer for most of the comment is just "no", I remember that one case of an old lady getting shot down because the cops raided the wrong house, and it was pretty much "she had a gun - but you raided the wrong house - Nope nope nope" and it was left in nothing" Or the several "it was the wrong house but the dog barked at me".

While I find it extremely sad that some **** would get off by getting someone else raided by the police, it says a lot when the cops in that scenario will go raid a house and point/yell at people first, instead of actually making sure of what's happening.
 

Scorpid

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I'm glad this dude and his family didn't get hurt, but this is a symptom of militarization of the police. If the police had any sense they might ask some questions. Instead they get one call and strap on the heavy weapons and start kicking doors in. I understand they don't want to be the Police force that allowed something like Columbine or Sandy Hook to happen because they were too cautious but you have to be able to do something find out what you are walking into short of flashbangs and swat teams.
 

Darxide

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BinDipper said:
Question, is "swatting" a thing in anywhere but the U.S.?
I've not heard of any cases outside the U.S.
Is this another symptom of the police-as-military-just-without-the-training culture in the U.S.?
Some French kid was sentenced to 6 months for doing it not long ago. Pretty lenient if you ask me.
 

SonOfVoorhees

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So stupid, especially as there could be another urgent call for a real situation that the SWAT could be dealing with. The risk to actually life should make anyone caught doing this sent to prison. I would use the same thing for those miss using the Police, Fire Brigade and Ambulance.
 

gigastar

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This is the gaming community. For every one step forward the majority takes, we get dragged two back by the minority.

Darxide said:
BinDipper said:
Question, is "swatting" a thing in anywhere but the U.S.?
I've not heard of any cases outside the U.S.
Is this another symptom of the police-as-military-just-without-the-training culture in the U.S.?
Some French kid was sentenced to 6 months for doing it not long ago. Pretty lenient if you ask me.
Probably not, since hes got a criminal record.

Im no employer, but i am certain i wouldnt hire someone who called in the SWAT (or equivalents) on someone just because they were beaten at a game.
 

Duffy13

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tdylan said:
I didn't watch the video because the article, I think, explains it well enough. My problem with all of these is that yes "how does it get to this point?" I understand a SWAT team reporting to what they believe to be a legitimate threat, but the "barging in the door, safeties off" does not seem like the best approach to me. I understand that it's not like in the movies, but in those tense situations, do they not worry about shooting the wrong person?

For example, let's say that it is legit, and the criminal has hostages. SWAT barges into the room, the criminal is startled, and a frightened hostage sees this as an opportunity to flee. So they do. SWAT sees the hostage, but only recognizes it as "someone moving quickly," so they shoot first, ask questions after. Now we have a dead innocent person because they didn't bother to gather any intel on the room that they were about to break into. Assume these are real threats: shouldn't they at least try to get an idea of how many people are in the room, and how many of them might be threats BEFORE barging in? And also where they are, so that they don't barge into the room and end up getting shot in the back by someone unaccounted for?

Personally, if I'm sitting at my computer when my door kicks in, I don't think "SWAT team," I think "home invasion. I need to protect my wife and daughter." With that state of mind, I'm not apt to comply just because someone is yelling "get down on the floor." In the panic, for all I know, it's a criminal yelling that at me. Assume they also have lights shining in my eyes so I can't identify them as police, and all they see is a guy running toward them. I get gunned down because "we were responding to a call, breached, and a suspect rushed us." That's what makes these type of situations unsettling to me. Some asshole wants to call the police, fine. They show up? Good. They're being prudent. But if I were to call the fire department saying there was a fire, do they kick in the door with hoses going? Or do they assess the situation first so that they know what they're getting into?
The team doesn't breach until they have a plan of action. To the person in the room it might look like a sudden thing, but they did not just show up, run to the door, and kick it in. That said their knowledge is not magically 100%, this isn't the movies. You will also notice that there haven't been any reports of people being shot during one of these, which speaks about SWATs specific and higher training requirements.

There are several different protocols that are used depending on the situation, I am fairly confident the 'pranksters' know which descriptions to use to trigger the desired SWAT response. While these are cases where just sending an officer to check would resolve them what if they weren't lying? What if it had been a situation where the officer knocking on the door get's that officer killed? How do you tell the difference? Just risk it?
 

JarinArenos

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Duffy13 said:
You will also notice that there haven't been any reports of people being shot during one of these, which speaks about SWATs specific and higher training requirements.
There are plenty of incidents of SWAT teams killing innocents. Quite a few of these in raids based on "mistaken information".
 

Karloff

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My question is why are these people going in so heavy based on such limited information. I've never heard of a case like this outside of the U.S. This seems like it is an extremely effective measure to antagonize people because they are going in so heavy and because no one has yet been prosecuted for swatting.

If you give people an effective and brutal way to make people afraid in their own homes with litte or no consequence for doing it then you're going to have a problem. There must be some way of avoiding these things becoming so escalated over a single spoof call.
 

Tortilla the Hun

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Grabehn said:
While I find it extremely sad that some **** would get off by getting someone else raided by the police, it says a lot when the cops in that scenario will go raid a house and point/yell at people first, instead of actually making sure of what's happening.
While it may sound reasonable to get a near-guarantee that the situation is a genuine concern by observing first, you have to consider that if time is a factor they're going to act as swiftly as possible. That means checking every room, every nook and cranny, for any kind of potential threat. They're loud and forceful because in those situations they need to be. In a real situation there is no room for error. That's what they train for. They can't just knock on the door, say they're here to inspect the place, then go into 'Action Mode' when they see that there is a real threat.

tdylan said:
I think Duffy13 explained it well enough, but I think the last sentence in the above paragraph, if not the entire paragraph itself, sums up my thoughts on the matter.
 

Th37thTrump3t

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Every time I see a story on Swatting, I lose more and more hope for humanity. Seriously, who thinks this is a good idea?

Duffy13 said:
You will also notice that there haven't been any reports of people being shot during one of these, which speaks about SWATs specific and higher training requirements.
There was a story a couple weeks ago where some 15 yr old kid swatted someone who beat him in a few games of Battlefield and he swatted the guy, which resulted in the father of the victim being shot and critically wounded. The kid ended up being convicted on two counts of domestic terrorism and was sentenced to 25-life.
 

erbkaiser

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Jun 20, 2009
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BinDipper said:
Question, is "swatting" a thing in anywhere but the U.S.?
I've not heard of any cases outside the U.S.
Is this another symptom of the police-as-military-just-without-the-training culture in the U.S.?
Most other countries don't have an overly militarized police force. US cops in a random small town are better supplied with weapons than most countries' military forces.
 

CrazyGirl17

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Gah, what the hell is wrong with some people?! There have to be ways of tracking these assholes down, otherwise I weep for humanity...
 

Tortilla the Hun

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Bolo The Great said:
My question is why are these people going in so heavy based on such limited information. I've never heard of a case like this outside of the U.S. This seems like it is an extremely effective measure to antagonize people because they are going in so heavy and because no one has yet been prosecuted for swatting.

If you give people an effective and brutal way to make people afraid in their own homes with litte or no consequence for doing it then you're going to have a problem. There must be some way of avoiding these things becoming so escalated over a single spoof call.
Well, as was stated earlier in the thread:
AstaresPanda said:
this 16 year old kid recently that got sent down for years for sending SWAT in to some guys CS stream.
Link here

So, there has been a case where the swatter has been caught, but they really have to make themselves known. I've gone over, as have other people, the reasons why the SWAT teams are "going in so heavy" and it's simply because there's no room for error. They need to be prepared for whatever is behind closed doors and the unfortunate thing is that there's no way of knowing. There's a reason they've been operating the way they have for years because it's effective. People are bringing it into question now simply because of these swatters--few would've guessed that people would think to make those kind of "prank" calls.
 

PerfectDeath

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So, I recall watching the twitch stream clip of a streamer who had the SWAT show up during a stream and the footage was caught on webcam.

These are definitely intense situations and while the SWAT officers are well trained, there was one in that stream raid which retorted to the streamer lightly chuckling, "What's so F***ing funny?"

I felt like going in there and decking that idiot officer in the face!

Seriously, when a bunch of armed men with automated guns had pinned you to the ground with firearms trained on you calling you a piece of shit, you panic. This often illicits a forced smile and even some forced laughter to show that you are friendly, a self preservation response to calm the attackers down.
 

FakDendor

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I'd like to point out that this family is German, and to my knowledge lived in Germany. (I could be very wrong, please correct me if so.) Germany also has SWAT teams, and they are very sensitive to threats of this kind (due to incidents they suffered before the formation of GSG9). Thus, this incident isn't reflective of American "police militarization" so much as German sensitivity to terroristic threats on their police force.
 

Karloff

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Mortis Nuncius said:
Bolo The Great said:
My question is why are these people going in so heavy based on such limited information. I've never heard of a case like this outside of the U.S. This seems like it is an extremely effective measure to antagonize people because they are going in so heavy and because no one has yet been prosecuted for swatting.

If you give people an effective and brutal way to make people afraid in their own homes with litte or no consequence for doing it then you're going to have a problem. There must be some way of avoiding these things becoming so escalated over a single spoof call.
Well, as was stated earlier in the thread:
AstaresPanda said:
this 16 year old kid recently that got sent down for years for sending SWAT in to some guys CS stream.
Link here

So, there has been a case where the swatter has been caught, but they really have to make themselves known. I've gone over, as have other people, the reasons why the SWAT teams are "going in so heavy" and it's simply because there's no room for error. They need to be prepared for whatever is behind closed doors and the unfortunate thing is that there's no way of knowing. There's a reason they've been operating the way they have for years because it's effective. People are bringing it into question now simply because of these swatters--few would've guessed that people would think to make those kind of "prank" calls.
Well it's a good think someone got caught. It is a difficult balance to strike. I suppose in the USA people CAN stalk around their house with an assault weapon. Here in the UK the idea of an 'active shooter' with large magazines of ammo and military grade hardware is pretty foreign.

The US police forces have been shown up as very heavy handed of late, it's a discussion to be had rather than a blame game. Swatting needs to be a less attractive as a tool to fuck with people.
 

Tortilla the Hun

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May 7, 2011
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Bolo The Great said:
Mortis Nuncius said:
Bolo The Great said:
My question is why are these people going in so heavy based on such limited information. I've never heard of a case like this outside of the U.S. This seems like it is an extremely effective measure to antagonize people because they are going in so heavy and because no one has yet been prosecuted for swatting.

If you give people an effective and brutal way to make people afraid in their own homes with litte or no consequence for doing it then you're going to have a problem. There must be some way of avoiding these things becoming so escalated over a single spoof call.
Well, as was stated earlier in the thread:
AstaresPanda said:
this 16 year old kid recently that got sent down for years for sending SWAT in to some guys CS stream.
Link here

So, there has been a case where the swatter has been caught, but they really have to make themselves known. I've gone over, as have other people, the reasons why the SWAT teams are "going in so heavy" and it's simply because there's no room for error. They need to be prepared for whatever is behind closed doors and the unfortunate thing is that there's no way of knowing. There's a reason they've been operating the way they have for years because it's effective. People are bringing it into question now simply because of these swatters--few would've guessed that people would think to make those kind of "prank" calls.
Well it's a good think someone got caught. It is a difficult balance to strike. I suppose in the USA people CAN stalk around their house with an assault weapon. Here in the UK the idea of an 'active shooter' with large magazines of ammo and military grade hardware is pretty foreign.

The US police forces have been shown up as very heavy handed of late, it's a discussion to be had rather than a blame game. Swatting needs to be a less attractive as a tool to fuck with people.
I agree. I think this is one of those "damned if you do, damned if you don't" scenarios. Having a system in place where you can call the police to respond to a situation quickly is great and useful, but too easy to abuse. Then there's the matter of investigation. Time, money, and peace of mind have already been wasted on responding to prank calls, then to use even more resources to find the caller becomes a concern. But those kind of people can't be left to keep doing what they're doing, so they've got that mess to deal with. I certainly don't envy the people in charge of making those decisions.
 

tdylan

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Mortis Nuncius said:
certainly don't envy the people in charge of making those decisions.
I think is gets even muddier when you consider that there will be people arguing: "tracking down prank callers? Well I'm glad to see you wasting my tax dollars!" But if they don't, this continues, and enough innocent people are hurt as a result, the cry will be "instead of spending my tax payer dollars to kick in the doors of innocent people, why weren't you finding the ones making the calls, and kicking in their doors?"
 

geizr

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I'm sure others have said something to this effect: the SWAT team has to go in heavily armed in preparation for the worst of situations. That's what they're trained to deal with. There's no way, a priori, for them to be able to know if a situation is real or falsified, and it is extremely difficult to ascertain the nature of a situation behind closed doors, shuttered windows, and walls. So, they simply have to be prepared for the worst.

Now, having said that, I do feel that the real way of stopping this kind of thing is to turn the consequences back on the perpetrator of the false report. Basically, the authorities need to be able to trace, track, and identify the person calling in the SWAT. What I'm saying is there needs to be direct and immediate consequences for falsified reporting. This is not a game. Unfortunately, the people who do this likely don't have the maturity to understand that and don't have the maturity to figure out that their actions are hurting others. They only care about doing what they want, when they want, to whomever they want, however they want, and no one better say shit against it. They're completely insular, self-absorbed, ego-centric, and childish. They're sociopaths, and no amount of logic or convincing will turn their minds. Nothing short of turning the pain right back at them will make them see that people don't appreciate this kind of thing. And even then, I doubt they'll see it as more than "nobody ever let's me have any fun...boo hoo!"; in other words, they won't learn a damn thing. They'll just get mad back at you for not letting them do what they want to do. They'll never understand, nor care about, the pain and suffering they cause others.

I know that may sound harsh, but, in my opinion, it takes a truly deviant and disturbed mind (or one that simply was never taught better) to honestly think that creating a situation in which a person and his/her family is put in severe danger and subjected to intense emotional trauma is fun and entertaining. They would not think it fun if it happened to them, but they do think it fun if it happens to others. The only possibility I could ever see to lighten my disgust at someone doing this would be to learn that they really are just that stupid and didn't know any better; that their parents really failed so spectacularly to instill within them an ability to think how one's actions can and do affect others. However, while that would lighten my disgust, it would not lighten my opinion that these people need to be severely punished for their actions. A child needs to have it made known to them, swiftly, decisively, and unambiguously, that their bad behavior is wrong and will not be tolerated, and that it is not a point open for negotiation or entreatment.


Here's one thing I always think about whenever I'm on the Internet, and I'll admit, I, like many, had my troll days, too. However, one must always keep in mind that there is another human being on the other side of that screen, and your words, for good or ill, has a direct affect on that person. The rules of human social interaction and etiquette still apply, 100%, even when on online. If the behavior you have online is not the kind of behavior you would have in real life toward another person directly in front of you, then you need to seriously consider changing your behavior online to be more like your behavior in real life. Emotions are real, even online. The hurt is real, even online.

I would bet that many of the trolls online are some of the nicest, most mousy type personalities you could ever meet, because they are terrified of getting the shit kicked out of them for pissing someone else off. And that's part of the problem is that there is no direct danger of consequences (or severe enough consequences) for bad behavior online. So, these people unleash their frustrations online and lash out at others. But again, if you are able to figure out that engaging bad behavior in real life would cause people to become pissed at you, why, then, is it such a stretch to think the same about being online? Sure, you might not get beat-up for it, but you still pissed someone off. If you cared about it in real life, you should care about it online, in my opinion, precisely for the reason that, online, you are still interacting with actual, living human beings. The words you see onscreen are not just random generated text from an unfeeling computer. Another person typed those words. Another person is attempting to express their thoughts and feelings in those words. Their words have an effect on you, and your words have an effect on them. If you wouldn't say it or do it in real life to the person's face, don't say it or do it online.

Apologies for the sudden rant. I won't say my opinion here is the best or most correct, but this sort of thing is really disgusting. And for those people trying to pass it off as not an issue for the gaming community, honestly, stop trying to hide in the fantasy ideal that your beloved gaming world is a pristine utopia of perfect existence. The gaming community has some serious sociopathic and general behavioral issues. As far as I know, this sort of thing doesn't seem to happen in any other circle. We, as gamers, need to be willing to face the fact that the community contains some severely sociopathic, reprehensible, and deviant elements, and we need to be the ones to take charge to clean-up our community such to eliminate these elements (or at least reduce them to the point that the behaviors we have seen are not so prevalent as they are). We need to be the ones to make it clear that bad behavior of this sort will not be tolerated within our community. If that gets us labelled as SJWs or whatever else, then so be it. However, we as a community must choose which is more important to us, a community of like-minded individuals who seek to create a safe, comfortable environment for fun interaction and socialization with others with gaming as a platform, or avoiding being called names that have long since lost any real meaning cause they're over-abused to only mean "you disagree with me and won't let me just do what I want".
 

Zetatrain

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May 1, 2020
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BinDipper said:
Question, is "swatting" a thing in anywhere but the U.S.?
I've not heard of any cases outside the U.S.
Is this another symptom of the police-as-military-just-without-the-training culture in the U.S.?
erbkaiser said:
Most other countries don't have an overly militarized police force. US cops in a random small town are better supplied with weapons than most countries' military forces.
Matthi205 said:
In most other countries, police forces aren't allowed that heavy armament.
I don't think that militarization of the police force is a factor as much as some people think at least in the case of swatting.
Most countries do indeed have their own equivalent of SWAT.

Just to name a few

Britain: SO19
Canada: ERT (Emergency Response Team)
France: RAID
Germany: SEK
Belgium: CGSU
Finland: Karhu Team/Bear Team
Australia: SPG or TOU

While the average USA police officer is armed more than his/her foreign counterparts, SWAT units and their equivalents are not your average police officer.
 

Karloff

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shirkbot said:
geizr said:
Mortis Nuncius said:
Zetatrain said:
I don't think that militarization of the police force is a factor as much as some people think at least in the case of swatting.
Most countries do indeed have their own equivalent of SWAT.

Just to name a few

Britain: SO19
Canada: ERT (Emergency Response Team)
France: RAID
Germany: GSG-9
Belgium: CGSU
Finland: Karhu Team/Bear Team
Australia: SPG or TOU

While the average USA police officer is more heavily armed than his/her foreign counterparts, SWAT units and their equivalents are not your average police officer.
Well that only makes the question "why doesn't this happen outside of the U.S.?" more interesting.
Are the SWAT teams being deployed too eagerly? Is it really a good idea to deploy such force for an isolated unconfirmed call? Why isn't police work being done to confirm these suspect reports before such force is used?

This issue has really bugged me since I heard the story of Bounkham ?Bou Bou? Phonesavanh, a one year old who had a hole blown in his chest by a concussion grenade during a raid prompted by false information. It makes me wonder, do they do any actual police work before knocking down the door and pointing guns at everybody?

I can't think of any reason why this only happens in the states, besides a gung-ho, dirty harry, shoot first do actual police work later culture.
 

RedDeadFred

Illusions, Michael!
May 13, 2009
4,896
0
0
castlewise said:
I don't want to go on too much of a rant, but the Escapist and other videogame news outlets aren't helping by reporting these things. The idiots who do these hoaxes want to be noticed. Letting something they did run amok all over the news sites just makes them feel more powerful.
I agree completely. This is the very definition of feeding the trolls. The more attention this gets, the more popular it's going to become and that's a very scary thing.
 

Roxas1359

Burn, Burn it All!
Aug 8, 2009
33,758
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FakDendor said:
I'd like to point out that this family is German, and to my knowledge lived in Germany. (I could be very wrong, please correct me if so.)
The creator of the video lives in the United States. He said so on his channel in reply to someone who asked him. So no, he was in the US when this happened, and never had something like this happen in Germany to him.
 

MASTACHIEFPWN

Will fight you and lose
Mar 27, 2010
2,279
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Zetatrain said:
France: RAID
That's such an appropriate acronym.

OT: People who do this deserve to have their doors kicked in by police soldiers and be shipped off to prison, but really, police should be able to trace where these calls are coming from.
 

geizr

New member
Oct 9, 2008
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BinDipper said:
shirkbot said:
geizr said:
Mortis Nuncius said:
Zetatrain said:
I don't think that militarization of the police force is a factor as much as some people think at least in the case of swatting.
Most countries do indeed have their own equivalent of SWAT.

Just to name a few

Britain: SO19
Canada: ERT (Emergency Response Team)
France: RAID
Germany: GSG-9
Belgium: CGSU
Finland: Karhu Team/Bear Team
Australia: SPG or TOU

While the average USA police officer is more heavily armed than his/her foreign counterparts, SWAT units and their equivalents are not your average police officer.
Well that only makes the question "why doesn't this happen outside of the U.S.?" more interesting.
Are the SWAT teams being deployed too eagerly? Is it really a good idea to deploy such force for an isolated unconfirmed call? Why isn't police work being done to confirm these suspect reports before such force is used?

This issue has really bugged me since I heard the story of Bounkham ?Bou Bou? Phonesavanh, a one year old who had a hole blown in his chest by a concussion grenade during a raid prompted by false information. It makes me wonder, do they do any actual police work before knocking down the door and pointing guns at everybody?

I can't think of any reason why this only happens in the states, besides a gung-ho, dirty harry, shoot first do actual police work later culture.
In my opinion, SWAT is a bit like the fire department. Have you ever seen the response of the fire department to an emergency call? They can go pretty hard-core and have to do so, even though the call could just be a prank. The problem is that, much like the fire department, the severity of situations in which SWAT teams are necessary are the kinds of situations that can escalate rapidly out of hand if the response is slow or insufficient. Now, granted, SWAT members can be trained to remain more level-headed to assess the immediate situation before taking action (honestly, I can't imagine that they aren't already trained in this regard, considering what's often at stake when they are called to a real scene), but again, they must have the ability to do so very rapidly, as, again, the situations to which they normally respond can escalate out-of-control fairly rapidly.

This is why I advocate for better tracking, tracing, and identification on the backend. More accountability needs to exist on the backend to make sure that if someone is going to call in the SWAT, they better have a damn good reason and real need for it. Making it more likely that someone trying to pull a prank of this magnitude will suffer extreme, dire consequences, I think, would lessen the chance that this sort of situation would develop. It won't necessarily eliminate it, but if the prankster has to think twice about his own hide, he's less likely to do it.

In more direct answer to "why doesn't this happen outside the US?", likely it does happen a lot outside the US. You just don't hear about it as much as you do in the case of the US. Reporting bias is something for which you have to account.
 

Zetatrain

Regular Member
May 1, 2020
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BinDipper said:
Zetatrain said:
I don't think that militarization of the police force is a factor as much as some people think at least in the case of swatting.
Most countries do indeed have their own equivalent of SWAT.

Just to name a few

Britain: SO19
Canada: ERT (Emergency Response Team)
France: RAID
Germany: GSG-9
Belgium: CGSU
Finland: Karhu Team/Bear Team
Australia: SPG or TOU

While the average USA police officer is armed more than his/her foreign counterparts, SWAT units and their equivalents are not your average police officer.
Well that only makes the question "why doesn't this happen outside of the U.S.?" more interesting.
Are the SWAT teams being deployed too eagerly? Is it really a good idea to deploy such force for an isolated unconfirmed call? Why isn't police work being done to confirm these suspect reports before such force is used?

This issue has really bugged me since I heard the story of Bounkham ?Bou Bou? Phonesavanh, a one year old who had a hole blown in his chest by a concussion grenade during a raid prompted by false information. It makes me wonder, do they do any actual police work before knocking down the door and pointing guns at everybody?

I can't think of any reason why this only happens in the states, besides a gung-ho, dirty harry, shoot first do actual police work later culture.
Probably a little bit of everything you just said

Lack of training and faulty procedures could be why incidents like this happen.

Though another thing that should probably be considered is that since other countries have tighter restrictions on firearms they have far less instances were a SWAT team is required and therefore less chances to screw up. There is also the whole "War on drugs" that the US has going which seems to be the cause of a lot of SWAT deployments such as the example you posted.
 

SexyGarfield

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008Zulu said:
So do these trolls really think they are getting away with it? 911/emergency service numbers in general, automatically logs your number and address you are calling from (the police system bypasses all those blocked number filters) before the first word is uttered. Can't call 911 over Skype, so you can't hide that way either. Do they not think these things through? Need tougher penalties I say.
I always imagined that the ones that get away with it use burner cellphones in outdoor areas unlikely to have cameras and then take out the battery where the call was made and destroy/dispose of the phone elsewhere. What's $15 against your freedom?
 

Subatomic

New member
Sep 1, 2011
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Zetatrain said:
BinDipper said:
Question, is "swatting" a thing in anywhere but the U.S.?
I've not heard of any cases outside the U.S.
Is this another symptom of the police-as-military-just-without-the-training culture in the U.S.?
erbkaiser said:
Most other countries don't have an overly militarized police force. US cops in a random small town are better supplied with weapons than most countries' military forces.
Matthi205 said:
In most other countries, police forces aren't allowed that heavy armament.
I don't think that militarization of the police force is a factor as much as some people think at least in the case of swatting.
Most countries do indeed have their own equivalent of SWAT.

Just to name a few

Britain: SO19
Canada: ERT (Emergency Response Team)
France: RAID
Germany: GSG-9
Belgium: CGSU
Finland: Karhu Team/Bear Team
Australia: SPG or TOU

While the average USA police officer is more heavily armed than his/her foreign counterparts, SWAT units and their equivalents are not your average police officer.
Correction: The German equivalent to SWAT isn't the GSG-9, it's the SEK (Spezialeinsatzkommando, or Special Operations Command). The GSG-9 is a very specialized anti terrorism unit within the federal police that is deployed very rarely and mostly in secret... in the last ten years, there were only a handful of publicly known missions by the GSG-9.
The SEKs on the other hand are part of the individual state's police forces and roughly equivalent to SWAT in the US.
 

Vivi22

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008Zulu said:
So do these trolls really think they are getting away with it? 911/emergency service numbers in general, automatically logs your number and address you are calling from (the police system bypasses all those blocked number filters) before the first word is uttered. Can't call 911 over Skype, so you can't hide that way either. Do they not think these things through? Need tougher penalties I say.
You don't seem to realize that getting your hands on a cheap burner or pre-paid cell phone is child's play and can't be tracked easily, if at all.

If most people knew how easy it is to actually get away with this they'd be a lot more afraid of it I think.

But a huge part of the problem here isn't just the fact that you have assholes calling in false reports and getting people raided by SWAT teams, but the fact that SWAT teams are frequently the first ones called in to deal with damn near anything. Policing is no doubt a dangerous job, but when you start relying on the guys who are trained specifically for going in guns blazing (not really, but relatively speaking they might as well be compared to your average cop) for everything from serving warrants to investigating reports of shots fired in a residential area or whatever else, you're asking for something to go wrong. These days SWAT teams are overused and under trained for the myriad of situations they regularly get called into. Often their training would actually conflict with what should be reasonable practice even, and nothing good will ever come of that.
 

Zetatrain

Regular Member
May 1, 2020
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Subatomic said:
Correction: The German equivalent to SWAT isn't the GSG-9, it's the SEK (Spezialeinsatzkommando, or Special Operations Command). The GSG-9 is a very specialized anti terrorism unit within the federal police that is deployed very rarely and mostly in secret... in the last ten years, there were only a handful of publicly known missions by the GSG-9.
The SEKs on the other hand are part of the individual state's police forces and roughly equivalent to SWAT in the US.
Ah, I see, thanks for correcting me. I'll admit I always find it odd that special task force not tied to the military would carry out operations inside and outside its borders so I always assumed that GSG-9 was divided into separate divisions. Never occurred to me that there was an entirely separate group that handles the more...mundane operations in Germany.
 

Yozozo

In a galaxy far, far away...
Mar 28, 2009
72
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Th37thTrump3t said:
Every time I see a story on Swatting, I lose more and more hope for humanity. Seriously, who thinks this is a good idea?

Duffy13 said:
You will also notice that there haven't been any reports of people being shot during one of these, which speaks about SWATs specific and higher training requirements.
There was a story a couple weeks ago where some 15 yr old kid swatted someone who beat him in a few games of Battlefield and he swatted the guy, which resulted in the father of the victim being shot and critically wounded. The kid ended up being convicted on two counts of domestic terrorism and was sentenced to 25-life.
The story is only a week old

url redacted

I honestly don't know how I feel, but yea, this twit caused severe injury through his actions, and should be punished. 25 years though... seems a bit much.

EDIT: Story is a hoax, nationalreport just wants to be like the Onion.
 

EternallyBored

Terminally Apathetic
Jun 17, 2013
1,434
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BinDipper said:
Well that only makes the question "why doesn't this happen outside of the U.S.?" more interesting.
Are the SWAT teams being deployed too eagerly? Is it really a good idea to deploy such force for an isolated unconfirmed call? Why isn't police work being done to confirm these suspect reports before such force is used?

This issue has really bugged me since I heard the story of Bounkham ?Bou Bou? Phonesavanh, a one year old who had a hole blown in his chest by a concussion grenade during a raid prompted by false information. It makes me wonder, do they do any actual police work before knocking down the door and pointing guns at everybody?

I can't think of any reason why this only happens in the states, besides a gung-ho, dirty harry, shoot first do actual police work later culture.
It has happened outside the U.S., as far as I know it has happened in France, Germany, and Canada, it also isn't all U.S. callers, one of the recent arrests was a teenager in Canada who was making SWAT calls into the U.S. When and if it happens in countries like Russia or China, we don't know because it is very unlikely that it would even be reported on.

It happens a lot more in the U.S. for a number of other factors. As other posters have mentioned, gun culture means you are much more likely to run into a heavily armed opponent in the U.S. than you are in say the U.K. or Germany.

Another factor is history, with the recent wave of mass shootings, many places are paranoid and they don't want to be the police department that under-responded to the next Sandy Hook or Virginia Tech shooting. Even further back, the U.S. has had incidents like that army guard guy that stole a tank and rode it around San Diego, or the Hollywood bank robbery where the robbers were so well armored that police had to take rifles from a nearby gun store to bring the suspects down.

Another factor is our war on drugs, 9/11 and the military surplus provision program. There is a law in place that allows local police departments to purchase surplus vehicles, weapons, and supplies directly from the department of defense, a program that ramped up under the department of homeland security after 9/11. The fear of terrorism spurred a lot of police departments into buying a lot of military surplus gear, gear that has only increased in availability with the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, leaving the department of defense and U.S. military equipment manufacturers with a lot of unused equipment they want to unload.

By the standards set down for those laws, a lot of that equipment is given on an as needed basis, so a local police department purchases a ton of military gear for almost nothing, and they are stipulated that they have to use this gear or the federal government takes it back. So you end up with these military equipped SWAT teams who are being told that they need to put that gear to use at least once a year or it will be taken from them, so they have a lot of incentive to break out the SWAT teams and justify to the feds that they need that gear. It's a vicious cycle that both the drug war and these SWATters take advantage of for their own ends.
 

EternallyBored

Terminally Apathetic
Jun 17, 2013
1,434
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Yozozo said:
Th37thTrump3t said:
Every time I see a story on Swatting, I lose more and more hope for humanity. Seriously, who thinks this is a good idea?

Duffy13 said:
You will also notice that there haven't been any reports of people being shot during one of these, which speaks about SWATs specific and higher training requirements.
There was a story a couple weeks ago where some 15 yr old kid swatted someone who beat him in a few games of Battlefield and he swatted the guy, which resulted in the father of the victim being shot and critically wounded. The kid ended up being convicted on two counts of domestic terrorism and was sentenced to 25-life.
The story is only a week old

http://nationalreport.net/15-year-old-swatted-domestic-terrorism/

I honestly don't know how I feel, but yea, this twit caused severe injury through his actions, and should be punished. 25 years though... seems a bit much.
Ok, I have to mention this again since apparently people keep believing this, that story is fake, the National Report is a satire site like the Onion, the video is about a completely different crime, for god's sake the site is currently showing a headline about how Hillary Clinton is a genetic descendant of Jack the Ripper and that California is giving free medical marijuana to Black people.
 

Th37thTrump3t

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Yozozo said:
Th37thTrump3t said:
The story is only a week old

http://nationalreport.net/15-year-old-swatted-domestic-terrorism/
Eh, the past couple weeks have been going by so slowly for me it feels like a month went by.

I honestly don't know how I feel, but yea, this twit caused severe injury through his actions, and should be punished. 25 years though... seems a bit much.
They were just throwing the book at him to make an example. Yeah, it sucks for the kid since his life is pretty much over, but I have a hard time sympathizing for stupidity, and think we all know the adage about playing with fire.
 

Saika Renegade

New member
Nov 18, 2009
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This is the sort of thing that makes me profoundly disappointed that the article about a guy getting 25-life for swatting was a parody instead of the real thing. I would be the first person to metaphorically kick such a person while they were down if they received serious jail time for this sort of idiotic and frankly reckless behavior.

Tricking nervous officers already in a high-risk job into danger-close situations simply to troll is reckless endangerment at the very least and homicide by proxy at the very worst. It's only a matter of time before this 'prank' gets someone killed, much like the knockout game, which is already the sort of thing where, in a theoretical scenario where I witnessed the puncher get shot by their victim immediately afterwards, I would offer first aid to the person who got punched first.
 

Phil the Nervous

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Jun 1, 2014
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The wikipedia article on swatting mentions a Twitch streamer getting arrested for possession, apparently the swat team searched his house looking for a bomb and found a bag of marijuana.

It's only tangentially related, but it seems worrisome that this kind of situation can override the need for a warrant.
 

Qizx

Executor
Feb 21, 2011
458
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0
Phil the Nervous said:
The wikipedia article on swatting mentions a Twitch streamer getting arrested for possession, apparently the swat team searched his house looking for a bomb and found a bag of marijuana.

It's only tangentially related, but it seems worrisome that this kind of situation can override the need for a warrant.
Now I'm no lawyer at all but does that work? If they DO find illegal materials I thought they can't press charges if it's an unjustified entry? Either way that's fucking absurd.

EDIT: I'm going off a story I only vaguely remember from years ago where I think a guy got off for illegally having a gun because they ruled the police didn't have a right to search him in the first place.
 

elvor0

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Sep 8, 2008
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tdylan said:
I didn't watch the video because the article, I think, explains it well enough. My problem with all of these is that yes "how does it get to this point?" I understand a SWAT team reporting to what they believe to be a legitimate threat, but the "barging in the door, safeties off" does not seem like the best approach to me. I understand that it's not like in the movies, but in those tense situations, do they not worry about shooting the wrong person?

For example, let's say that it is legit, and the criminal has hostages. SWAT barges into the room, the criminal is startled, and a frightened hostage sees this as an opportunity to flee. So they do. SWAT sees the hostage, but only recognizes it as "someone moving quickly," so they shoot first, ask questions after. Now we have a dead innocent person because they didn't bother to gather any intel on the room that they were about to break into. Assume these are real threats: shouldn't they at least try to get an idea of how many people are in the room, and how many of them might be threats BEFORE barging in? And also where they are, so that they don't barge into the room and end up getting shot in the back by someone unaccounted for?
I'll echo the sentiments of a few other people, and while those are valid and obviously very reasonable concernes, it perhaps seems quicker, less planned out and less "ordered" than it actually is. Obviously to the person being swatted, it all happens very quickly, but they do tend to come up with a plan before they barge in, just /we/ and the person being swatted only see them barge through the door. And of course, like people have said, they can't risk it being a genuine case, true, all they see is a person sitting at a computer, but they've been called in for a threat, who knows what else is happening in there, or what /has/ happened, as far as they're concerned?

Luckilly, SWAT teams tend to be trained to a significantly higher degree than your average US police officer, and don't quite succumb to the problem of "shoot first, ask later" like some trigger happy US officers have. They exist purely for high threat, high risk situations and require the necessary training and personality to deal with those situations.


tdylan said:
Personally, if I'm sitting at my computer when my door kicks in, I don't think "SWAT team," I think "home invasion. I need to protect my wife and daughter." With that state of mind, I'm not apt to comply just because someone is yelling "get down on the floor." In the panic, for all I know, it's a criminal yelling that at me. Assume they also have lights shining in my eyes so I can't identify them as police, and all they see is a guy running toward them. I get gunned down because "we were responding to a call, breached, and a suspect rushed us." That's what makes these type of situations unsettling to me. Some asshole wants to call the police, fine. They show up? Good. They're being prudent. But if I were to call the fire department saying there was a fire, do they kick in the door with hoses going? Or do they assess the situation first so that they know what they're getting into?
This, on the other hand I haven't really got a response to. Yes that is a very likely scenario that could happen. I just hope it doesn't. But again, they don't just rock up and run in guns akimbo.

Matthi205 said:
BinDipper said:
Question, is "swatting" a thing in anywhere but the U.S.?
I've not heard of any cases outside the U.S.
Is this another symptom of the police-as-military-just-without-the-training culture in the U.S.?

I think that may be part of it. In most other countries, police forces aren't allowed that heavy armament. It may also be that most of the idiots calling the police haven't been caught.
BinDipper said:
Question, is "swatting" a thing in anywhere but the U.S.?
I've not heard of any cases outside the U.S.
Is this another symptom of the police-as-military-just-without-the-training culture in the U.S.?

But they're not really the police, they don't patrol the streets, they don't walk around with heavy arms all the time. There's been a case in France, but it is a bit harder to do so in other countries, the US just has a bit more of a fear factor when it comes to this sort of stuff. It also has a /very/ large amount of guns that are reasonably easy to get hold of and people willing to use them for criminal acts.

If standard coppers had heavy machine guns and everything else, then you'd be right, but these arn't the standard police, they're a SWAT team, they exist purely to respond to high risk, high threat situations, which you /do/ need, because situations like that going to pop up, otherwise they just sit around at SWAT HQ. Now I'm pretty pro-gun control, but until that gets sorted out, in a country like the US where guns are rife, you do need to have an appropriate response, which are SWAT teams, who recieve much higher training and standard of personnel than police officers. For all intents and purposes, they're a domestic military team, not militarized police.

In the UK, we'd send in the SAS for threats our Armed Response Squads can't or couldn't handle(generally ARS are armed with the same as US police officer, while standard UK police have...a baton, but only because gun crime is so low), which is rare, because we have less gun crime, it's no different from sending in SWAT for a situation that requires more than just a bog standard copper, which is appropriate because of the higher gun crime rate in the US.

PerfectDeath said:
So, I recall watching the twitch stream clip of a streamer who had the SWAT show up during a stream and the footage was caught on webcam.

These are definitely intense situations and while the SWAT officers are well trained, there was one in that stream raid which retorted to the streamer lightly chuckling, "What's so F***ing funny?"

I felt like going in there and decking that idiot officer in the face!

Seriously, when a bunch of armed men with automated guns had pinned you to the ground with firearms trained on you calling you a piece of shit, you panic. This often illicits a forced smile and even some forced laughter to show that you are friendly, a self preservation response to calm the attackers down.
Lets think this through: As far as he's concerned, he's just been called in to arrest highly dangerous criminals; if one of them starts laughing, that's cause for concern. Is there a bomb? Does his mate have a shotgun trained on him? Are the hostages already dead? Is he just fucking insane?
 

direkiller

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008Zulu said:
So do these trolls really think they are getting away with it? 911/emergency service numbers in general, automatically logs your number and address you are calling from (the police system bypasses all those blocked number filters) before the first word is uttered. Can't call 911 over Skype, so you can't hide that way either. Do they not think these things through? Need tougher penalties I say.
There are ways to spoof numbers(a few of the cases have calls made from local gas stations when no one made a call from that location)
a few websites sites will do it for a small charge.
Mind you this is a crime that carries a hefty fine in the US, but it makes this rather hard to track after a certain point.
 

SexyGarfield

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Qizx said:
Phil the Nervous said:
The wikipedia article on swatting mentions a Twitch streamer getting arrested for possession, apparently the swat team searched his house looking for a bomb and found a bag of marijuana.

It's only tangentially related, but it seems worrisome that this kind of situation can override the need for a warrant.
Now I'm no lawyer at all but does that work? If they DO find illegal materials I thought they can't press charges if it's an unjustified entry? Either way that's fucking absurd.

EDIT: I'm going off a story I only vaguely remember from years ago where I think a guy got off for illegally having a gun because they ruled the police didn't have a right to search him in the first place.
From what I understand, as long as the officer has a legal right to be in a place where he can detect contraband it is all good to press charges. Responding to a possible threat gives them the right as terrible as that is.

The Plain Sight Doctrine said:
If a law enforcement officer has a legal right to be in plain sight or can smell parts of illegal contraband, they have the right to seize the contraband or evidence and arrest individuals. However, if an officer finds the items illegally, contraband may be seized, but cannot be used as evidence in criminal courts.

http://www.lawfirms.com/resources/criminal-defense/defendants-rights/search-seizure.htm
 

AtomChicken

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If you want opinions on police militarization, look no further than Radley Balko, as for the Swatting stuff, hackers and crackers may think its fun, but egos and e-penis waving is what does them in the long run. Bragging, mockery, and Internet fame are giant ego boons, but bad for trying to remain anonymous. If there's a recurring theme, these kids try to to pull shit off for the Lulz, then get a real wakeup call when they find themselves in the real legal shitter. Frankly, I have no sympathy for the idiots that think this is fun - they're playing with a barrel full of napalm, and the consequences are simply life shattering.

20+ years, a permanent felony, and prison bunking with Bubba. Even when they get out, that felony is going to permanently exclude them from society.
 

Baresark

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BinDipper said:
Question, is "swatting" a thing in anywhere but the U.S.?
I've not heard of any cases outside the U.S.
Is this another symptom of the police-as-military-just-without-the-training culture in the U.S.?
I think it's extremely short sighted to blame this on the police. They get a call that they MUST take as serious. The calls almost universally include confession of murder of women and/or children or holding hostages or both. Any police agency on the planet would treat it just as serious, even if there were no equivalent to SWAT teams in other countries. I'm not saying the police in the US are not over militarized, but it doesn't make sense to blame them. This happens because some piece of crap thinks it's funny to almost get people killed. That is the only reason this happens. Not because police are militarized, that is a whole other issue that you can't possibly blame this on.
 

renegade7

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The thing is (and this is a general response to the people saying that the SWAT teams in question should plan more and try to understand more before kicking doors in) that it's like a 9-1-1 call. No matter how little the responders have to go on, it's the law that they have to respond. They can't risk someone dying just because the call sounded dubious.

If it weren't for this fact, then there would be people who would die in real emergencies.

That's why these trolls are doubly assholes. Not only are they terrorizing and risking the lives of the people they're pranking, but they're also abusing a system that has no choice but to go along with their bullshit.
 

RandV80

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Baresark said:
I think it's extremely short sighted to blame this on the police. They get a call that they MUST take as serious. The calls almost universally include confession of murder of women and/or children or holding hostages or both. Any police agency on the planet would treat it just as serious, even if there were no equivalent to SWAT teams in other countries. I'm not saying the police in the US are not over militarized, but it doesn't make sense to blame them. This happens because some piece of crap thinks it's funny to almost get people killed. That is the only reason this happens. Not because police are militarized, that is a whole other issue that you can't possibly blame this on.
In regards to blaming the police for being overzealous I think part of the problem is we don't have nearly enough info to evaluate it on. What kind of calls do these scumbags make to get a SWAT team response? Is it a quick call to a 911 responder that then gets passed up the ladder? What sort of response time does the SWAT team have, is there anytime to do a cautionary background check before they hit the pavement? How often are these false alarms sounded? Have they been through 9 dangerous crackhouses this month then the 10th time happens to be the innocent Jones family?

We tend to assume that they should be able to look up an address and say 'oh the Jones live there, family of 4 with dog in safe suburban area no criminal record, likely false alarm so send officer first'. But realistically we don't know how it all plays out. And considering that these scumbags use this knowledge to effectively make these calls, it probably shouldn't be laid out somewhere for everyone to see. At face value the best I could think of is that if it's not a crime ridden area then while swat is suiting up they could maybe send a regular patrol car on a simple drive by? No sirens, no knocking at the door, just drive by the house and report if anything seems amiss.

And on a completely different topic, another thing you here of often happening in these cases is the family dog getting shot. Humans get the warning but it seems like if a SWAT team see's a dog they shoot first. A number of years ago at a film fest I watched a French film which involved a scene where a Paris SWAT team busted assaulted the leads apartment. He was gone, but his big fluffy dog was home. In this case however the tactics used were that this SWAT team had intel and was expecting a big dog. After breaching the door they had a specific guy wearing one of those dog training arms go right for the dog and when it bit down they shot it with a tranquilizer. Seemed like standard procedure while the guys with the real guns did the usual sweep.

So is it not possible for the US SWAT teams to handle dogs a bit more humanely?
 

008Zulu_v1legacy

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direkiller said:
There are ways to spoof numbers(a few of the cases have calls made from local gas stations when no one made a call from that location)
a few websites sites will do it for a small charge.
Mind you this is a crime that carries a hefty fine in the US, but it makes this rather hard to track after a certain point.
I believe that once they realise that they will have to crack down on this kind of crime (and they will), they will punish them with more than a fine.

Vivi22 said:
You don't seem to realize that getting your hands on a cheap burner or pre-paid cell phone is child's play and can't be tracked easily, if at all.
SexyGarfield said:
I always imagined that the ones that get away with it use burner cellphones in outdoor areas unlikely to have cameras and then take out the battery where the call was made and destroy/dispose of the phone elsewhere. What's $15 against your freedom?
The idea of untraceable burner phones are based off some very poorly written Hollywood ideas.
 

SexyGarfield

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008Zulu said:
Pray tell how does one trace a freshly activated cellphone that was bought with cash? I am not saying you're wrong I just don't see a way. I have bought one and used it for a while when I lost my phone and I never had to use any identifying information.
 

direkiller

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008Zulu said:
direkiller said:
There are ways to spoof numbers(a few of the cases have calls made from local gas stations when no one made a call from that location)
a few websites sites will do it for a small charge.
Mind you this is a crime that carries a hefty fine in the US, but it makes this rather hard to track after a certain point.
I believe that once they realise that they will have to crack down on this kind of crime (and they will), they will punish them with more than a fine.
They have broght the hammer down on people they caught alredy. A false report can (and in this case dose) bring a felony.


The spoof number law was designed for telemarketers, which is why it is a fine rather then jail time.


Still if done right it makes it rather hard for anything short of a federal agency to track, state agency are rarely equipped to deal with it.

There is also a case involving a Canadian citizen calling aross the border. Who was caught more because he was an idiot on twitter rather then phone calls made, but still cases involving another country can be problematic.
http://krebsonsecurity.com/2014/05/teen-arrested-for-30-swattings-bomb-threats/
 

Jake Martinez

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BinDipper said:
Question, is "swatting" a thing in anywhere but the U.S.?
I've not heard of any cases outside the U.S.
Is this another symptom of the police-as-military-just-without-the-training culture in the U.S.?
You're not wrong.

This wouldn't even be a "thing" if the police weren't armed to the teeth like a Para-Military force and employing similar tactics in civilian policing operations.

I hate to say it, but after recent events, Maxcuster's probably lucky he's not black or we'd be reading instead about how a family was killed by an internet prankster's "Swatting" (while similarly painting the overarmed and overaggressive police as "just doing their jobs").
 

MirenBainesUSMC

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This has happened many times, unfortunately it derives from people whom wish to target someone they harshly disagreed with --- particularly in politics.
 

Baresark

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RandV80 said:
Baresark said:
In regards to blaming the police for being overzealous I think part of the problem is we don't have nearly enough info to evaluate it on. What kind of calls do these scumbags make to get a SWAT team response? Is it a quick call to a 911 responder that then gets passed up the ladder? What sort of response time does the SWAT team have, is there anytime to do a cautionary background check before they hit the pavement? How often are these false alarms sounded? Have they been through 9 dangerous crackhouses this month then the 10th time happens to be the innocent Jones family?

We tend to assume that they should be able to look up an address and say 'oh the Jones live there, family of 4 with dog in safe suburban area no criminal record, likely false alarm so send officer first'. But realistically we don't know how it all plays out. And considering that these scumbags use this knowledge to effectively make these calls, it probably shouldn't be laid out somewhere for everyone to see. At face value the best I could think of is that if it's not a crime ridden area then while swat is suiting up they could maybe send a regular patrol car on a simple drive by? No sirens, no knocking at the door, just drive by the house and report if anything seems amiss.

And on a completely different topic, another thing you here of often happening in these cases is the family dog getting shot. Humans get the warning but it seems like if a SWAT team see's a dog they shoot first. A number of years ago at a film fest I watched a French film which involved a scene where a Paris SWAT team busted assaulted the leads apartment. He was gone, but his big fluffy dog was home. In this case however the tactics used were that this SWAT team had intel and was expecting a big dog. After breaching the door they had a specific guy wearing one of those dog training arms go right for the dog and when it bit down they shot it with a tranquilizer. Seemed like standard procedure while the guys with the real guns did the usual sweep.

So is it not possible for the US SWAT teams to handle dogs a bit more humanely?
From all the one's I have read and heard about (which is admittedly not the majority, only a few), they have made serious threats. Saying they have shot and killed some, saying they are holding hostages and intend to shoot them. In those situations, they are absolutely making the right situation to deploy like they do. The one's I have heard of, they aren't being reported as domestic abuse or a rock through a window(ie. send out a squad car to investigate). I'm assuming that since SWAT deployment is costly and can't just be done as a matter of routine, the situations they are responding too typically are the type that call for such measures.

I have to tell you, the family dog getting shot makes me want to see them all die. They do it because they are assuring their safety, but they are wearing body armor and have many non-lethal weapons at their disposal, which they don't even try to use in those situations. On a rational level, I get it. But the double standard of police dogs vs family pet dogs makes me insane. If you kill a police dog, you get charged with murder of a police officer. If they shoot your dog, they can just laugh about it with their buddies with no repercussions. I say that for every innocent dog they kill, they should have to watch a police dog get murdered in turn. That is clearly my emotions talking. But it will always feel wrong that the natural course of action is to kill the family dog.
 

008Zulu_v1legacy

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SexyGarfield said:
Pray tell how does one trace a freshly activated cellphone that was bought with cash? I am not saying you're wrong I just don't see a way. I have bought one and used it for a while when I lost my phone and I never had to use any identifying information.
Well, when you pay for a phone, even with cash, you are required to provide a valid ID; driver's license, etc before they sell it to you.
 

briankoontz

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RedDeadFred said:
castlewise said:
I don't want to go on too much of a rant, but the Escapist and other videogame news outlets aren't helping by reporting these things. The idiots who do these hoaxes want to be noticed. Letting something they did run amok all over the news sites just makes them feel more powerful.
I agree completely. This is the very definition of feeding the trolls. The more attention this gets, the more popular it's going to become and that's a very scary thing.
That's ridiculous. Murders get a lot of attention but there's no proof that that causes more murders.

Calling this behavior "trolling" is amazing. Invading someone's privacy, wasting taxpayer money, and possibly getting people injured or killed isn't trolling - it's an attack on the person and a criminal offense.

The other problem is the paranoid, overly armed, and bullying American police force.

This isn't a cry for attention, but a cry for power. There are lots and lots of young people out there, many of them gamers, who feel powerless in their lives and who live in a dying world. SWATing is a way for them to exercise power in a life where they either have none or seem to have none.

As usual the wise sages of the Escapist forums call for long jail sentences for people who already don't have very good lives. The solution of empowering people so that they can impact the world in positive ways escapes our wisest of sages.

That's the thing about humans which is almost never talked about in any circles. If humans aren't taught how to do good things, how to exercise power in a positive way, the outcome tends to be the exercise of power in a negative way. Then instead of punishing the people who failed to guide the young person the young person himself is punished. It's the American Way. That is to say, it doesn't fucking work.
 

Elvis Starburst

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Do I just need to give up on you guys...? The majority is not like this, sure, but the minority is just a train wreck. Do I need to throw my hands up and simply live in ignorance so I don't have to watch as you fucking twats SWAT more and more innocent people? Just wait, someone is gonna fucking DIE. THEN WHAT?! Where the hell do we go from there? Nowhere. Once someone dies it's just... done. An irrevocable stain in the name of gaming. Just cause some idiot thought this would be funny. I'm disgusted, and absolutely sick of this crap
 

Strazdas

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008Zulu said:
So do these trolls really think they are getting away with it? 911/emergency service numbers in general, automatically logs your number and address you are calling from (the police system bypasses all those blocked number filters) before the first word is uttered. Can't call 911 over Skype, so you can't hide that way either. Do they not think these things through? Need tougher penalties I say.
the dumb kids trolling in games wil lget caught easily, yes. thing is, its definatelly possible to hide your number and become untracalble. not that people smart enough to do that would bother with "Swatting" though.

BinDipper said:
Question, is "swatting" a thing in anywhere but the U.S.?
I've not heard of any cases outside the U.S.
Is this another symptom of the police-as-military-just-without-the-training culture in the U.S.?
It is a thing in US only because US police has different protocols of action when such calls happen. altrough i believe i heard one story of swatting in UK as well when somone reported armed murderer in the house.



Karloff said:
BinDipper said:
Question, is "swatting" a thing in anywhere but the U.S.?
I've not heard of any cases outside the U.S.
Is this another symptom of the police-as-military-just-without-the-training culture in the U.S.?
It may have more to do with state borders. If I prank call from Alabama, but the target is in Arkansas, the Arkansas state law can't come after me. The Federals can, but then it boils down to whether or not the FBI's going to spend time and resources investigating what amounts to a wasting police time offense. Of course, if ever someone actually gets shot then things will change dramatically.

Whereas if I were doing this in the UK, and prank called Nottingham while living in Leeds, there are no borders to consider, and the cops will probably be more than happy to turn up at my door.
it is worth noting that it is possible that the perpetrator is calling from another country entirely, as the costs of international calls get lower this is more and more a possibility.
 

Karloff

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geizr said:
I agree there should be more accountability for the pranksters, but none of that really answers my questions though, it just kind of brushes them off with "it has to be this way." I don't think it does.
And reporting bias is one thing but not a single incidence of this happening outside the U.S. being reported is another. I can't believe that in my country (the U.K.) sensationalist papers like The Daily Mail wouldn't be all over this if it were happening.

Zetatrain said:
Though another thing that should probably be considered is that since other countries have tighter restrictions on firearms they have far less instances were a SWAT team is required and therefore less chances to screw up. There is also the whole "War on drugs" that the US has going which seems to be the cause of a lot of SWAT deployments such as the example you posted.
Interesting that you mention the war on drugs. I was thinking to myself yesterday "I sound like a character out of The Wire, lamenting the lack of police work and the emphasis on getting street dealers at any cost."

EternallyBored said:
It has happened outside the U.S., as far as I know it has happened in France, Germany, and Canada,
Can you give me links to reference this? I haven't been able to find anything myself.

elvor0 said:
In the UK, we'd send in the SAS for threats our Armed Response Squads can't or couldn't handle(generally ARS are armed with the same as US police officer, while standard UK police have...a baton, but only because gun crime is so low), which is rare, because we have less gun crime, it's no different from sending in SWAT for a situation that requires more than just a bog standard copper, which is appropriate because of the higher gun crime rate in the US.
The thing is, I live in the U.K. and I reckon I could call the police and say "I just shot and killed someone and I'll shoot and kill anyone who comes in my house" without the ARS showing up as a first response. Because that's all it took to get SWAT to be sent as first response in this case.
Am I wrong to think that?

Baresark said:
I think it's extremely short sighted to blame this on the police. They get a call that they MUST take as serious. The calls almost universally include confession of murder of women and/or children or holding hostages or both. Any police agency on the planet would treat it just as serious, even if there were no equivalent to SWAT teams in other countries. I'm not saying the police in the US are not over militarized, but it doesn't make sense to blame them. This happens because some piece of crap thinks it's funny to almost get people killed. That is the only reason this happens. Not because police are militarized, that is a whole other issue that you can't possibly blame this on.
There's a big difference between treating a single report seriously and taking a single report as gospel. I'm not blaming the SWAT teams per-se, obviously the ultimate responsibility lays at the feet of the prankster. But for the SWAT teams to put themselves in a position where they are so easily pranked just seems silly to me.
Like if I wanted to rob a bank, I could just call in a fake murder/hostage confession and boom, I've got a couple of hours to rob said bank without having to worry about SWAT teams showing up.

Jake Martinez said:
I hate to say it, but after recent events, Maxcuster's probably lucky he's not black or we'd be reading instead about how a family was killed by an internet prankster's "Swatting" (while similarly painting the overarmed and overaggressive police as "just doing their jobs").
It wouldn't be as bad if the county then took responsibility for their lack of investigation. But they don't seem to. In the case I mentioned they refused to pay for the child's medical bills, I've also read other cases where the wrong address has been raided, family dogs have been killed (because of course a dog is going to freak out in that situation) and no compensation has been provided.

Strazdas said:
It is a thing in US only because US police has different protocols of action when such calls happen. altrough i believe i heard one story of swatting in UK as well when somone reported armed murderer in the house.
Do you have a link to that? Because I can't find anything.
 

Flames66

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008Zulu said:
The idea of untraceable burner phones are based off some very poorly written Hollywood ideas.
Nobody is saying they are untraceable. What they are saying is you get a cheap, disposable phone and SIM card and make the call from somewhere other than where you live. Once you are done dispose of the phone and SIM and you're done. How do you intend to trace that call?

SexyGarfield said:
Qizx said:
Phil the Nervous said:
The wikipedia article on swatting mentions a Twitch streamer getting arrested for possession, apparently the swat team searched his house looking for a bomb and found a bag of marijuana.

It's only tangentially related, but it seems worrisome that this kind of situation can override the need for a warrant.
Now I'm no lawyer at all but does that work? If they DO find illegal materials I thought they can't press charges if it's an unjustified entry? Either way that's fucking absurd.

EDIT: I'm going off a story I only vaguely remember from years ago where I think a guy got off for illegally having a gun because they ruled the police didn't have a right to search him in the first place.
From what I understand, as long as the officer has a legal right to be in a place where he can detect contraband it is all good to press charges. Responding to a possible threat gives them the right as terrible as that is.

The Plain Sight Doctrine said:
If a law enforcement officer has a legal right to be in plain sight or can smell parts of illegal contraband, they have the right to seize the contraband or evidence and arrest individuals. However, if an officer finds the items illegally, contraband may be seized, but cannot be used as evidence in criminal courts.

http://www.lawfirms.com/resources/criminal-defense/defendants-rights/search-seizure.htm
That leaves the whole system open to abuse and is a hole that needs to be plugged.

Solvemedia: Big Brother

o.0
 

Strazdas

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BinDipper said:
Strazdas said:
It is a thing in US only because US police has different protocols of action when such calls happen. altrough i believe i heard one story of swatting in UK as well when somone reported armed murderer in the house.
Do you have a link to that? Because I can't find anything.
Sadly no, i dont stockpile links of every news story i read and im sure your as good at google as i am.
 

elvor0

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BinDipper said:
elvor0 said:
In the UK, we'd send in the SAS for threats our Armed Response Squads can't or couldn't handle(generally ARS are armed with the same as US police officer, while standard UK police have...a baton, but only because gun crime is so low), which is rare, because we have less gun crime, it's no different from sending in SWAT for a situation that requires more than just a bog standard copper, which is appropriate because of the higher gun crime rate in the US.
The thing is, I live in the U.K. and I reckon I could call the police and say "I just shot and killed someone and I'll shoot and kill anyone who comes in my house" without the ARS showing up as a first response. Because that's all it took to get SWAT to be sent as first response in this case.
Am I wrong to think that?
I dunno, I think the ARS would show up in that situation. At least I'd hope so, for the officers own good, as well as the public. I mean, you've got a gun, you've just shot someone and you're threatening to kill anyone that comes near you. The approrpriate response of force, are police with guns. Granted, they may try and talk you down first, as you're not a further "threat" as long as you're in your house. But that's different to a potentional hostage situation.

We don't know what the prankster told the police, presumebly that there were hostages and it was a highly dangerous situation. I know the US gets a bit trigger happy, but it needs to be a situation that demands SWAT in order for them to show up, I presume if it was a less risky situation, they'd just send the standard police. And frankly, a high-risk, high threat hostage situation, is one where I'd expect the SWAT teams to show up.
 

Karloff

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Strazdas said:
Sadly no, i dont stockpile links of every news story i read and im sure your as good at google as i am.
If I could find it on google I wouldn't be asking you.
Any identifying details you remember from said story?
 

Karloff

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elvor0 said:
I dunno, I think the ARS would show up in that situation. At least I'd hope so, for the officers own good, as well as the public. I mean, you've got a gun, you've just shot someone and you're threatening to kill anyone that comes near you. The approrpriate response of force, are police with guns. Granted, they may try and talk you down first, as you're not a further "threat" as long as you're in your house. But that's different to a potentional hostage situation.
But that's the whole point, I don't have a gun, I haven't just shot someone, and it's only a single, isolated, unconfirmed (and ultimately false) report.
I don't think they would send the ARS in that situation.

elvor0 said:
We don't know what the prankster told the police, presumebly that there were hostages and it was a highly dangerous situation.
We do know what the prankster told police, it's mentioned in the video. The prankster told the police that he was the guy, he had shot and killed his wife and would shoot any police that tried to enter his property.
 

elvor0

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BinDipper said:
elvor0 said:
I dunno, I think the ARS would show up in that situation. At least I'd hope so, for the officers own good, as well as the public. I mean, you've got a gun, you've just shot someone and you're threatening to kill anyone that comes near you. The approrpriate response of force, are police with guns. Granted, they may try and talk you down first, as you're not a further "threat" as long as you're in your house. But that's different to a potentional hostage situation.
But that's the whole point, I don't have a gun, I haven't just shot someone, and it's only a single, isolated, unconfirmed (and ultimately false) report.
I don't think they would send the ARS in that situation.
Yes, but the point is /they/ don't know that you haven't actually just shot someone. What if you really are a nutter? They've got to send in /someone/, even if it just one phonecall, I'm sure there's plenty of cases where it's been just one phonecall, they can't risk it being a real scenario, in case someone else gets shot. The public would be up in arms if there was a genuine case and the police failed to respond.

If the report is that you're armed, it makes sense that they'd send in someone who was armed to deal with you. I'll change my stance to agree you're right, in that they would likely send in someone to talk you down from a safe distance first, but with the ARS on standby.

BinDipper said:
elvor0 said:
We don't know what the prankster told the police, presumebly that there were hostages and it was a highly dangerous situation.
We do know what the prankster told police, it's mentioned in the video. The prankster told the police that he was the guy, he had shot and killed his wife and would shoot any police that tried to enter his property.
Oh, sorry, didn't actually watch it, oops. Suppose I should've done that. Colour me corrected. But still, as far as they're concerned, nutjob who's just shot his wife. Maybe he's such a psycho that after killing his wife, he went and sat on the computer? Plus it is America, who knows how well the guy is armed? Too risky to send in a guy with a pistol and the dude turns out to be packing an assault rifle.

In response to your question asking the other dude about hoax swatters, this is what I could find, though the first one did include three phonecalls, but from the same person:

http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/367621/World-dwarf-champion-made-drunken-999-call-about-woman-with-shotgun-outside-his-home

http://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/teesside-news/possible-hoax-call-led-major-6391221

http://www.derbyshiretimes.co.uk/news/grassroots/derbyshire-boy-13-arrested-following-suspected-brimington-hoax-1-6715370

Now it's disputable that the second one is a hoax or just a concerned citizen, but it shows that they do respond in full force if there are firearms involved.
 

Scorched_Cascade

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SexyGarfield said:
Pray tell how does one trace a freshly activated cellphone that was bought with cash? I am not saying you're wrong I just don't see a way. I have bought one and used it for a while when I lost my phone and I never had to use any identifying information.
Flames66 said:
Nobody is saying they are untraceable. What they are saying is you get a cheap, disposable phone and SIM card and make the call from somewhere other than where you live. Once you are done dispose of the phone and SIM and you're done. How do you intend to trace that call?
This is touching on something that I'm confused by with this swatting practice.

See, the police have your location. Their system bypasses nearly all (I want to say all but apparently not) withheld number/location spoofing. Even when you use a pre-paid phone they can detect, with decent accuracy, your geographical location thanks to knowing which cellphone tower you're current nearest to. Given more time and they could probably triangulate but all they need is the one you're nearest to.

In this specific instance the caller pretended to be the guy inside the house.

Does that not set off massive red flags to the operator that the caller is saying they're the guy inside the house but the call is coming from somewhere else entirely?

Obviously this gets murkier when the caller is saying they see/saw/have seen the "suspect" but when they're pretending to be the person holed up in the house and the call is coming from outside the house....how does that work?

The only conclusion I could draw is that the caller had some way to spoof their call and make it look to the police like it was originating inside the house. As far as I know, this isn't possible. What's going on?
 

Karloff

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elvor0 said:
In response to your question asking the other dude about hoax swatters, this is what I could find, though the first one did include three phonecalls, but from the same person:

http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/367621/World-dwarf-champion-made-drunken-999-call-about-woman-with-shotgun-outside-his-home

http://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/teesside-news/possible-hoax-call-led-major-6391221

http://www.derbyshiretimes.co.uk/news/grassroots/derbyshire-boy-13-arrested-following-suspected-brimington-hoax-1-6715370

Now it's disputable that the second one is a hoax or just a concerned citizen, but it shows that they do respond in full force if there are firearms involved.
Interesting, thanks for the additional info.
Reading those articles I can't see any mention of them actually entering the property, perhaps the ARS makes some on-site attempts to confirm the report before breeching the property?
Would be cool if I knew someone in the ARS to ask.
 

happyninja42

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BinDipper said:
Interesting, thanks for the additional info.
Reading those articles I can't see any mention of them actually entering the property, perhaps the ARS makes some on-site attempts to confirm the report before breeching the property?
Would be cool if I knew someone in the ARS to ask.
Don't they have a Public Relations office that you could find the contact number for and ask? I'd be surprised to learn they don't have somebody on site to answer random questions from the public about various regulations, laws, procedures and stuff. The stuff that is public knowledge, but not necessarily easily obtained knowledge.


I mean when I was like 12, I called the nuclear power plant in our area and asked them if it blew up, how far of an explosion would it make. I asked because we had "Fallout Evacuation" signs in my city, telling us which roads to use to get away from the radiation area. And at that age, I recalled from movies and my science classes that explosions are pretty fast, and is there even any point in trying to run from here.

So I called them, and they hooked me up with some guy who patiently explained to me that the uranium in the plant wasn't of the right type to blow up like a bomb, and that it would be a cloud like exposure, not a big boom. I thanked him for his information and hung up.

I bet you could call the ARS and politely ask them, due to recent news articles about police breeches due to false reports, you had questions about when and how they were permitted to burst in with guns up and when they weren't. It's a reasonable question for someone to ask, and as far as I can tell wouldn't be breaking any security protocols to tell you. Give them a call and see what they say, you might be surprised.
 

Karloff

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Happyninja42 said:
Don't they have a Public Relations office that you could find the contact number for and ask? I'd be surprised to learn they don't have somebody on site to answer random questions from the public about various regulations, laws, procedures and stuff. The stuff that is public knowledge, but not necessarily easily obtained knowledge.
Being just another department within the police one would just have to go through the regular police channels. Perhaps I will when I get home from work.
 

michael87cn

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I feel like spreading around these stories is going to increase the people who want to do it to others...

right now you can read a ton of posts that basically say "what is wrong with people?" but right now im sure several people are grinning to themselves and thinking they can't wait to do this to someone.

simply put, there are people out there that are evil.
 

008Zulu_v1legacy

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Flames66 said:
Nobody is saying they are untraceable. What they are saying is you get a cheap, disposable phone and SIM card and make the call from somewhere other than where you live. Once you are done dispose of the phone and SIM and you're done. How do you intend to trace that call?
You have to provide valid ID (driver's license) when buying a mobile phone. Cops check the number that made the call, run it back to the provider, then to the store where it was bought and then they have the troll's real name and home address.
 

PirateRose

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michael87cn said:
I feel like spreading around these stories is going to increase the people who want to do it to others...

right now you can read a ton of posts that basically say "what is wrong with people?" but right now im sure several people are grinning to themselves and thinking they can't wait to do this to someone.

simply put, there are people out there that are evil.
But if you ask me, ignoring the problem will still allow it to spread around. Do you really think the people doing this aren't bragging to their friends? They aren't bragging in private forums? It'll become a fad whether the general public brings attention to it or waits til every other house and school are being swatted cause bored teen boys think it's funny.

If there isn't a consequence to this behavior, more people will do it. More people will brazenly do it thinking they can not be touched, that no one will care, and that everyone does it so it's cool.
 

SexyGarfield

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008Zulu said:
SexyGarfield said:
Pray tell how does one trace a freshly activated cellphone that was bought with cash? I am not saying you're wrong I just don't see a way. I have bought one and used it for a while when I lost my phone and I never had to use any identifying information.
Well, when you pay for a phone, even with cash, you are required to provide a valid ID; driver's license, etc before they sell it to you.
Unless this is a brand new law (within the past 6 months) or is only a local law that effects your state/county/city (do you live in Puerto Rico? They passed an ID law for prepaided cellphones.) then I am going to call bullshit. Upon googling I can only come up with two news articles from 2010 about Sen. Charles E. Schumer and Sen. John Cornyn trying to create a bill requiring an ID but none of them have a name or number for the bill. This leads me to believe it was either voted down or never even came to a vote.
 

geizr

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BinDipper said:
There's a big difference between treating a single report seriously and taking a single report as gospel. I'm not blaming the SWAT teams per-se, obviously the ultimate responsibility lays at the feet of the prankster. But for the SWAT teams to put themselves in a position where they are so easily pranked just seems silly to me.
Like if I wanted to rob a bank, I could just call in a fake murder/hostage confession and boom, I've got a couple of hours to rob said bank without having to worry about SWAT teams showing up.
This is my point about putting more into the backend. It's exactly the idea of making it less likely that SWAT would be pranked simply because of the greater likelihood of severe repercussions for the prankster. Pranksters pull pranks only when they know they can get away with it without the prank turning back on them. If there is a greater likelihood that they'll get caught and suffer severely for it, then they're more likely to think twice about pulling such a stunt.

I don't know how it is in the U.K., but here in the U.S., unfortunately, a man killing his family and holding a couple hostages at gun point can quickly escalate into an entire neighborhood gets murdered. We've had too many incidents in which a small matter blows up very quickly because, well, sometimes people here can be that unstable.

EDIT: minor correction for grammar.
 

SexyGarfield

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Flames66 said:
SexyGarfield said:
From what I understand, as long as the officer has a legal right to be in a place where he can detect contraband it is all good to press charges. Responding to a possible threat gives them the right as terrible as that is.

The Plain Sight Doctrine said:
If a law enforcement officer has a legal right to be in plain sight or can smell parts of illegal contraband, they have the right to seize the contraband or evidence and arrest individuals. However, if an officer finds the items illegally, contraband may be seized, but cannot be used as evidence in criminal courts.
That leaves the whole system open to abuse and is a hole that needs to be plugged.
I agree a thousand times over but this loophole has been around for a long time and unless you feel like starting up a PAC then I doubt it will change.
 

Flames66

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008Zulu said:
Flames66 said:
Nobody is saying they are untraceable. What they are saying is you get a cheap, disposable phone and SIM card and make the call from somewhere other than where you live. Once you are done dispose of the phone and SIM and you're done. How do you intend to trace that call?
You have to provide valid ID (driver's license) when buying a mobile phone. Cops check the number that made the call, run it back to the provider, then to the store where it was bought and then they have the troll's real name and home address.
I have never provided ID to buy a telephone and would refuse if asked. I am not from the USA though so I don't understand how things work there. Is that a law or just something that companies do? Can anyone else from America confirm it?
 

Strazdas

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BinDipper said:
Strazdas said:
Sadly no, i dont stockpile links of every news story i read and im sure your as good at google as i am.
If I could find it on google I wouldn't be asking you.
Any identifying details you remember from said story?
He was living alone in UK and was doxxed while playing heartstone. there may or many not be somone he was talking to at the time that police didnt turn off but im not sure if im not mixing it with something else.
 

Karloff

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geizr said:
This is my point about putting more into the backend. It's exactly the idea of making it less likely that SWAT would be pranked simply because of the greater likelihood of severe repercussions for the prankster. Pranksters pull pranks only when they know they can get away with it without the prank turning back on them. If there is a greater likelihood that they'll get caught and suffer severely for it, then they're more likely to think twice about pulling such a stunt.
But in the example I gave I'm already going to rob a bank so a couple of extra years jail-time on my already potential life sentence isn't going to bother me.
You can put more accountability into the back end, that's fine. But the SWAT teams are still in a position where they can be easily hoaxed and criminals can still take advantage of that.

geizr said:
I don't know how it is in the U.K., but here in the U.S., unfortunately, a man killing his family and holding a couple hostages at gun point can quickly escalate into an entire neighborhood gets murdered. We've had too many incidents in which a small matter blows up very quickly because, well, sometimes people here can be that unstable.
Admittedly the prevalence of commercial firearms in the U.S. does make things more difficult. But I still think for the SWAT teams to put themselves in a position where they are so easily and predictably hoaxed is a failing on their part.
 

Redlin5_v1legacy

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I felt pretty sick listening to that video. Just, wow...

I wonder if something like this has happened in Canada yet.
 

geizr

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BinDipper said:
[
But in the example I gave I'm already going to rob a bank so a couple of extra years jail-time on my already potential life sentence isn't going to bother me.
You can put more accountability into the back end, that's fine. But the SWAT teams are still in a position where they can be easily hoaxed and criminals can still take advantage of that.
Sorry, I missed your example. However, I don't think a typical prankster has in mind to pull a prank and then rob a bank. That combination just doesn't generally happen, as far as I know. Generally, I would expect someone who's decided they're going to rob a bank to be of a more stern or desperate mentality that just wouldn't be given to taking time to pull a prank before engaging their primary goal of robbing the bank. Maybe you know examples that I don't of such persons, though.

Regardless, having more information and access to more information is how you keep from getting hoaxed in the first place. Obtaining such information is the kind of thing you do on the backend before the SWAT team even gets to the scene. Getting the information after you've committed forces to the scene is already too late; the hoax and it's intended effect would have already occurred. Hence, tracking, tracing, and identification.

You can't eliminate hoaxes, entirely. That's like trying to eliminate being hacked. All you can do is make it harder and have means of managing the situation when it occurs. In the case of physical crimes, such as SWATTING someone, one can additionally setup deterrents, such as increased risk of getting caught and suffering severe consequences, to further reduce the possibility of such occurrences. Nothing is 100%, of course. Anyone truly bound and determined to SWAT someone, no matter what you do, will try harder not to get caught. That's the usual response of the truly hardened criminally-minded.