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"SWATTING" is Not a Prank

Ken Bone

Posted on January 3, 2018 03:09

3 users

A popular online "prank" results in the tragic death of an innocent father indicating that we all need to take use of force by the police more seriously.

It's three days after Christmas. Andrew Finch is sitting in the living room with his family. 1400 miles away two people are arguing online about a video game. As a result of this argument your address is randomly picked by one of the gamers and given as his own. This address is used by Tyler Barriss AKA "SWAuTistic," an online troll who calls in false bomb threats and police reports, in a so called SWATting prank.

This involves calling the police and claiming to have committed a violent crime at the address of the prank's victim. This is intended to prompt a massive police response to the address, hopefully causing fear and chaos. I have been SWATted and it's no joke.

In this case the caller got more than he intended. Barriss told police that he was armed, had killed multiple members of his family, and was holding the surviving members hostage. This caused a very large number of officers to surround the given address. The address of Andrew Finch and his family. When Andrew noticed the commotion outside he opened the front door. After seven seconds of having orders shouted at him while bright lights blinded him a single shot rang out. Andrew was fatally shot by a police officer.

Barriss has decided not to contest extradition and will face felony charges in Kansas where the shooting occurred, but that seems beside the point. The murder of Andrew Finch is simply the latest in a long line of terrifying incidents where our police have committed gross acts of violence with little to no provocation. It has become obvious that while we arm our police more and more as if they were a paramilitary force that we have not put nearly enough resources into training the officers in de-escalation.

Andrew Finch was shot and killed seven seconds after opening his door. The officer who killed him claims that he was reaching for his waistband and was motioning toward other officers to the east as if to shoot. He claims that he believed officer's lives were in danger. This seems difficult to believe given that the officer was across the street behind cover, and the officers that he claims were endangered were quite far away as well.

Add to this a complete breakdown in communication by the police. The caller did not even know which way the house faced, or how many stories were in it. That alone would have told a properly trained officer that they were at the wrong place. He also claimed to have hostages, yet the officer shot the first person he saw. It has also been recently released that the caller was still on the phone with 911 when the shooting occurred. How was this not communicated to the field?

In a press conference the Chief of Police quipped, "We don't have telepathy." When our protectors show this type of blatant disregard for human life how can we feel protected? Who is watching the watchmen?

Ken Bone

Posted on January 3, 2018 03:09

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Source: Metro

The teen was allegedly involved in "several hundred swatting cases" over a "few" years, the police...

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