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The Sick Trick Pranksters Can Use To Get Your House Raided

swat raid -- wikipedia [1]SWAT teams have become a weapon that anyone — including sociopaths — can deploy against innocent law-abiding citizens.

In a growing-but-disturbing practice called “swatting,” a bad guy places a false 911 call to police designed to provoke a SWAT-team raid on an unsuspecting person, perhaps an enemy or even a friend. Swatting is now so common that legislators are writing laws against it.

“Perpetrators of these hoaxes purposefully use our emergency responders to harm their victims,” US Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Massachusetts) told the press. “These false reports are dangerous and costly, and have resulted in serious injury to victims and law enforcement. It is time to update our laws to appropriately address this crime.”

The FBI estimates that around 400 swatting incidents occur each year, The Framingham Patch reported. An April swatting [2] incident in Framingham prompted Clark to propose a new law, the Interstate Swatting Hoax Act, which would make hoaxes a federal crime punishable with a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

Some Disturbing Swatting Incidents

“It is far more than a hoax,” Clark said. “It is really such a dangerous situation for law enforcement, for victims, and for communities at large.”

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Recent news stories reveal some very disturbing swatting incidents, including:

“The defendant engaged in a pattern of harassing activity against several victims using the cloak of anonymity afforded by the Internet,” Assistant United States Attorney Timothy C. Rank said. “He wrought emotional havoc and caused the needless expenditure of public funds to respond to his destructive emails, tweets, and phone calls. Mr. Morgenstern committed his crimes in part because he thought he would not get caught. Because of the excellent investigative work of the FBI, he was wrong, and the sentence today sends a strong message that there are serious consequences for this type of behavior.”

Framingham Police Chief Ken Ferguson told The Patch he favors a federal solution.

“Having a national law will help reduce these type of calls,” Ferguson said.

Would you favor a federal law against swatting? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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