In 2004, a new and deadly appearance appeared on the American legal field. It was the year a 14-year-old boy upset to have been rejected in his sexual feelings towards one girl, he called and left a false statement about the crime, sending a special forces team to the girl ‘s family home. Since then, there have been very many cases of calls or reports to police reporting serious but false crimes. This requires a rapid and serious police response to the “swatter” victim.
Fortunately, most cases did not result in injuries or deaths, but it was
And tragic exceptions. One day, in one of the last cases in 2017 in Wichita, Kansas, an innocent man will be killed by a SWAT team answering a false call from an irritate player, “Call of Duty.” In this case, criminal charges were brought against the offender, which have yet to be resolved, but not charges against police officers. Other cases have resulted in the shooting of civilians and police officers as a result of such sudden raids on the homes of unsuspecting victims.
The number of cases occurring each year is difficult to imagine, given that many jurisdictions, including the federal government, do not have clear laws against such acts (such measures have been introduced by Congress, but so far none have been passed on to the President for signature). But for sure, such cases exceed 100 cases.
According to experts, in the near future there will be no fewer such cases. This is due to the presence of increasingly anonymous apps with which pranksters and scammers can scan databases to obtain information about the victims they are directed at. In addition, there are still advanced and state-of-the-art technologies in open as well as dark networks to allow swatters to mask places from where they make their calls and hide other potentially identifying evidence from authorities.
At a time when police departments are facing an already serious empty problem, another and similar potential problem arises. There is a possibility that a number of states have passed gun confiscation orders from citizens after a mass shooting at a school in Parkland in February 2018, Florida, will be abused by disgruntled family members, paramurs or others, making false or exaggerated allegations against a firearm owner who then becomes the target of an unexpected police raid to seize his firearms.
The Red Flag Act provides for measures to protect against malicious jokers that have led to a sharp increase in gun incidents, laws allow for orders to confiscate guns without notice of intended targets, leading to sudden raids; In addition, the evidence required to issue orders is very vague in almost all cases and can be used as easily as it is legal.
When jokers call the police with false information, they argue that imminent and serious consequences, such as bomb threats, murder or hostage-taking, are clearly intended to lead not to the usual dispatch of blue-shaped police officers, but to the fairly heavily armed SWAT units that virtually every police department in the country has today. The same scenario is likely to apply to many red flag orders that, because of their explicit conditions, apply to circumstances related to firearms and persons suspected of posing a serious danger to themselves or others.