Here is his twitter: https://twitter.com/goredtutor36?lang=en. He boasted about swatting people and somehow got internet access in prison and posted his latest post.
"Officers gave [the victim] several verbal commands to put his hands up and walk towards them. The male complied for a very short time and then put his hands back down to his waist. The officers continued to give him verbal commands to put his hands up, and he lowered them again." 
I'm not well informed on the subject, but wouldn't equipping tactical teams with non-lethal weapons have prevented tragedies like this? The moment a team feels uneasy, they should feel free to stun the suspect. I know electroshock weapons have their own risks, but surely they aren't greater than firing a dude acting suspiciously with a live round from a Colt AR-15?
In the video the officer who fires is to the left of the speaker. Caution you will see someone getting shot to death.
I don't think there's any video of the actual incident is there?
Maybe the dude didn't understand what the big deal was and kept dropping his hands? Someone probably jumped the gun?
I wonder if that team had non-lethal weapons and just didn't get them out. If he didn't have a firearm, a beanbag rifle could have ended this much differently.
We have enough evidence accumulated over the years to make it abundantly clear that police reports are primarily about constructing a narrative that absolves police of culpability and secondarily about describing the true nature of an event.
Police reports read individually all sound individually reasonable but read as a collective describe a world that is fantastical. For example, the number of young black men who were "reaching towards their waistbands" at the moment they get shot even though they were carrying no weapons simply beggars any rational explanation. Similarly, "put his hands back down to his waist" is another police magic phrase that is conveniently unfalsifiable and also absolves the shooting officer of any liability.
We need to change society back to the point where people are decent and don't fool around with public resources like cops.
First responders are life-saving. Mis-using them is seriously anti-social behavior. That's what needs to be changed.
or the cops lied about what happened. Wouldn't be the first time that has happened when a cop murdered an unarmed civilian.
There is indeed a continuum, but this particular case was at the low end of the band.
I mean, I don't have a problem with the members serving time (doing good things doesn't make up for burning factories), but the guy with the plea deal shouldn't have got off.
I hope the guy that rolled gets at least 15 years of his sentence and doesn't get let off early. There's no reason he shouldn't serve the entire 25. This case lead to someone's death.
I'm guesing the police was completely unapologetic as well.
Like all people, most cops are decent people. To assume otherwise is just wrong.
I personally know several cops. They are without exception excellent human beings. They work hard, with little pay, to serve the public.
These idiots should be charged with something along the lines of conspiracy to commit murder.
The phone system needs to be updated to prevent apoofing of numbers. I know it jas its reasons for corporate exchanges and whatnot, but safety outweighs that. A Telco should be able to uniquely identify precisely who made a call.
Along the way: no blocked numbers on caller ID. I dont answer a blocked number, anyway, but you shouldn't be able to hide.
Likewise, what is your recommendation on eliminating the threat of burner phones?
I hate to say, but it's a slippery slope. Right now, you can't distinguish between a legit line and a spoof, or a burner.
But a burner still has a traceable number. Perhaps burners could be placed in a "low trust" zone when dialling emergency services. Such a classification could give 1st responders the caution they need.
The underlying problem is that police should not jump to lethal force and have proper training to contain dangerous situation, not kill people who are crawling on the floor under their orders.
The problem is not distinguishing between a legit line and a spoof, it is having a police force that is not trigger happy who cowardly justify every killing with "I was scared for my life".
Police who are so easy to be "scared for life" should not be in the force, in the same way someone with pyrophobia should not be a firefighter.
I take your point, but at the same time, that's a very easy thing to say when it's not your life that is on the line. Unless you have first hand experience doing that kind of job, I would strongly advise a bit of restraint in being quite so judgemental.
IIRC, the victim in one swatting death was lying on the floor crying as two cops screamed contradictory orders at him, reached down to pull his pants up after crawling forward as instructed, and was shot dead. I might have been able to respect, at a bare minimum, a police response along the lines of "we need to review our procedures for this sort of situation." Instead the police chief gave a press conference about evil swatters and absolutely refused to accept any culpability at all.
As long as the cops keep ducking blame like a child with his hands over his ears, this shit is going to keep happening with every swatting.
19 years old going to jail for 20-25 years...
The consequences of the situation is perhaps up-to-debate but that is missing the point, the SWAT teams shouldn't be acting reactionary and out of fear, they should be, well, tactical about the situation and not burst into homes and hotels like they're in war-zone doing a Search and Destroy.
Very sloppy operation if they just shot a guy standing in the open.
I think the logic behind this is that if the tip was correct then trying to talk it out/etc could end much worse for everyone involved. You have to remember that, to the best of the officer's knowledge, there is a live hostage in a building somewhere that needs to be saved by them
I can't even conceive of the same thing happening in the military (been there, done that). "We got a call the enemy is in that build." "suit up, we'll go in." "how about we watch the building for a minute?" "Naw..."
Ps: the military has its own track record on fire first and then sort them out later. They blew up whole towns in Iraq for one sniper-with everyone on it. So bad example. The watch and wait often only happens in spy movies. In reality it's protect our boys preemptive at all costs. If one dies you have alot more to answer for then 40-50 locals die. Those can be labeled asymmetric after exitus. And quite frankly theire surviving relatives thirsty for revenge will cover your war crime up. One week later that sleepy town ruin is a Hotspot.
Actual outcome was that one citizen is dead because they murdered him. I don't see how much worse is first outcome when compared to the second one.
The police should have still been more accountable, but let's get the context right.
This is stupid trigger happy gangster style policing.
Police are going to be on high alert regardless, even if they think the call was a hoax
At least here which is not US there is no such problem.
Who says they aren't? They have rules, procedures etc., but when you tell police that x person killed his wife and is about to kill his two little children bad things are likely to happen.
Plus, both sides can be held accountable at the same time. The person that made the call can be responsible for everything that happens, even for the car accident cops get into while going there. More or less like this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felony_murder_rule
Any real world system needs to be able to handle faulty inputs. If this particular system wasn't so terrible at that, bad actors would have no reason to make the false reports in the first place.
By showing up, right?
I'm not sure "verified" vs "unverified" is the important thing.
I do think U.S. police's approach in general is far too violent and it makes these things more dangerous.
That also means that anyone 'swatting' ought to know they are doing something dangerous and with high potential for violence, far from just a joke, it's an extremely immoral act.
I don't follow your implication - obviously nobody's suggesting the police not show up.
The point is that swat teams should treat anonymous calls as potential crimes - and potential pranks or mistakes - until they have reason not to.
Systems need to be robust against bad inputs! If a system occasionally kills people when lied to, the solution is not to try and prevent people from lying to it - it's to improve the system.
But I feel like some in this thread are calling for leniancy for 'swatters', perhaps because they've done it themselves or are friends with those who have. "the solution is not to try and prevent people from lying to it." No, it's that too. The police ARE a dangerous murderous gang, as long as that is true tricking them into responding to someone on false pretenses is a violent act, with potentially deadly consequences, a grossly immoral act.
If anyone thinks they can escape moral culpability for swatting because it's the police's fault -- even making that argument is explicitly recognizing that the police are a dangerous violent force, so if you sic them on someone you know what you are doing, you know the potential consequences. If you let your dangerous dog loose on purpose and it attacks someone, it's your fault and the dogs fault too. You have responsibility for your actions. Intentionally exposing someone to potential police violence is on the person who does it, even if the police ought not to be so easy to be used in that way, that person still used them in that way. And it's a horribly unethical thing to do.
Saying that swat teams need to safely deal with false reports is not in any way sympathizing with swatters. Of course swatting is bad - everyone knows that. But "get people to stop lying to police" is not an achievable goal; "get police to stop killing randoms because someone lied" is.
> perhaps because they've done it themselves or are friends with those who have.
This is out of line, surely.
Instead we have stories about swatting.
Any policy needs to weigh the harm to actual hostages against the harm to victims of swatting and right now it seems like swatting victims are bearing the brunt of police action.
It is just my hunch that Hollywood has made us believe that crazy dangerous hostage situations happen far more often than they actually do and in reality, pranks are much more common.
A very quick Googling turned up an article that said that 85-90% of hostage situations are resolved nonviolently.
Another article said that police in the US receive something like 100,000,000 non-emergency calls (including pranks calls) in a year, so we’re probably talking at least tens of thousands of prank calls (not just swatting though, obviously).
Based on admittedly sensational news stories, violence seems to happen more often when people get swatted than it should and it doesn’t seem silly to think that overreacting to elaborate prank calls isn’t capable of causing harm that’s greater than the harm caused by underreacting to real calls.
Here you go
I'm pretty sure that an experienced police easily recognizes when it is a serious dangerous stuff like the above, and when it is just a safe, for police, swatting where you can just go in with all guns blazing.
This feels like the "We have to be allowed to torture terror suspects, because what if there's a bomb set to go off in an hour and the suspect won't reveal its location unless we torture him" argument. This kind of policy needs to be based on history, not hypotheticals.
When has this ever happened outside of movies?
I would never (unless I have a serious reason to believe this can save a life) report a crime non-anonymously as I neither want to become a suspect (for many kinds of crimes this is possible) nor to be forced to participate in a court or anything like that as a witness.
indeed. lay witnesses are treated rather poorly.
A Telco should be able to uniquely identify precisely who made a call
Swatters, however, generally spoof Caller ID and call a general police switchboard or dispatch line directly. Police don't have the discretion to just ignore blocked numbers.
How do you prove the intent was to murder rather than to harass?
You think you’re being clever by charging with something more serious, then the charge fails because really you just wanted what they really did to have a steeper punishment.
> I dont answer a blocked number, anyway
They don’t call you - it doesn’t matter what you’d do - they call the police, who have to answer the phone.
Are you serious? If I want to harass someone I'll ring the doorbell and run, order 40 pizzas, throw toilet paper all over their house, etc. Police armed to the teeth is pretty obvious this isn't about harassment. If it is, you need help.
Anyway, I'll defer to your credentials as an experienced prosecutor, but it seems pretty reasonable to me that painting an individual as an imminent danger and directing a paramilitary kill squad to their location (resulting in their subsequent execution) is an intentional murder. Obviously, the courts will tease out all the pertinent details but I don't see any details that preclude that possibility.
It seems pretty reasonable to me that everyone should just give me all their money and I should get a pony. But nobody really cares about my opinion there because I am just making shit up, completely devoid of any factual basis.
> but I don't see any details that preclude that possibility
You are literally working off the linked article that says what charges the prosecutors decided they could probably make stick. Literally, faced with an expert opinion by someone with all the relevant facts, whose job it is to distinguish between these things, you are saying "I don't care because I have my own legal opinions based on my hopes and dreams".
This doesn't strike me as materially different from climate change denial or anti-vaxxing.
How do you prove the intent was to murder rather than to harass?
In this case all the accused are conspirators, but which one committed the overt act? Calling a false report to the police is not an overt act of murder is it?
If this was a contract killing for example they'd be in conspiracy with the hitman, who was clearly the murderer. Who's the murderer in this case? The police officer isn't committing murder.
I think if you charged with conspiracy to murder you risk facing a jury who says 'ok I get they conspired but which one do you think committed murder?'
I've been agitating for something like this for a long time now, but really, I'm fine if CallerID can be spoofed, but I should be able to get the billing account for the line it's using. Phone companies as a rule resist giving out this information (which they've made available to law enforcement for a century).
I've also heard about pets that get murdered for having vicious tendencies in the victims household. How sad...
How many hostage situations actually happen in middle class boring suburbs such that a single unverified call turns into a full blown swat response?
Endless loop debate.
It's further complicated by massive inequality in the country, which generates strong class differences, resentment, and ultimately an "us vs them" mentality.
And we haven't even gotten to the pervasive racism yet.
America is an adolescent state, born from extreme violence and trauma that hasn't subsided yet. Americans in general are a paranoid people due to their general personal insecurity (high inequality, classism, racism, tribalism, one sickness from financial ruin, etc). It's only natural that their police force and justice system develop in such a medieval retribution style.
Those seem like some pretty high value names. Although internetlord and tragic don't look like what I'd expect a swatter's account to look like. They don't appear very popular or active so saying they're "known by" those names seems a little strange.
Also strange how much more valuable those look compared to the mastermind's twitter names swautistic and goredtutor36 .
1] obvious, but the mentality of self elevated importance, and attachment of personal loss with a game [combatsimulator] that primes a person into an aggressive mentality.
2] there is no carrot and stick for LEO's. There is qualified immunity from prosecution, ideally this prevents a cop or other responder from being sued for adverse results, of acting "whithin legal authority" and "as a reasonable person"
The end result is No Consequences fro screwing up under the veil of legal authority and reasonable actions. This veil has been stretched so thin that it is starting to breakdown, as there are now LEO and other responders actually doing some prison time, vs 15 years ago when police were heavily militarized and 911 was fresh in our heads; when any degree of force was legitimate to intercept domestic threats.