Police Kill Innocent Man / Swatting Incident

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Re: Police Kill Innocent Man / Swatting Incident

Postby bignflnut » Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:28 pm

djthomas wrote:
schmieg wrote:I think that legislatures should be considering making "swatting" a specific criminal offense as it goes well beyond filing a false report.

Ohio kind of has. Making false reports has different degrees based on the circumstances, but unfortunately short of claiming there's a WMD involved the tiers are entirely financial. Now, if the SWAT team shows up and shoots someone it's likely that there is at least $150,000 in economic harm, which is the highest tier at an F3.

Was the caller in the Beavercreek Wal-Mart case identified, interrogated, or indicted?
Has there ever been prosecution of these calls?
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Re: Police Kill Innocent Man / Swatting Incident

Postby djthomas » Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:30 pm

bignflnut wrote:Was the caller in the Beavercreek Wal-Mart case identified, interrogated, or indicted?
Has there ever been prosecution of these calls?

That's an excellent question for the relevant local authorities to answer to.
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Re: Police Kill Innocent Man / Swatting Incident

Postby schmieg » Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:39 pm

bignflnut wrote:
djthomas wrote:
schmieg wrote:I think that legislatures should be considering making "swatting" a specific criminal offense as it goes well beyond filing a false report.

Ohio kind of has. Making false reports has different degrees based on the circumstances, but unfortunately short of claiming there's a WMD involved the tiers are entirely financial. Now, if the SWAT team shows up and shoots someone it's likely that there is at least $150,000 in economic harm, which is the highest tier at an F3.

Was the caller in the Beavercreek Wal-Mart case identified, interrogated, or indicted?
Has there ever been prosecution of these calls?

I think that is the problem. These yahoos are rarely charged. Inducing panic is an interesting idea, but the police are considered to be special in that regard, less susceptible to panic, less susceptible to fighting words. Then there is reality.
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Re: Police Kill Innocent Man / Swatting Incident

Postby Brian D. » Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:12 pm

djthomas wrote:
bignflnut wrote:Was the caller in the Beavercreek Wal-Mart case identified, interrogated, or indicted?
Has there ever been prosecution of these calls?

That's an excellent question for the relevant local authorities to answer to.


As memory serves the caller was identified and brought in for a bunch of questioning. No indictment, when all was said and done.
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Re: Police Kill Innocent Man / Swatting Incident

Postby djthomas » Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:14 pm

schmieg wrote:I think that is the problem. These yahoos are rarely charged. Inducing panic is an interesting idea, but the police are considered to be special in that regard, less susceptible to panic, less susceptible to fighting words. Then there is reality.

No, not charging the police with inducing panic, charging the caller.

Beavercreek is not what most people would consider to be a SWATing call. Did the Beavercreek caller make efforts to conceal his identity? No. Was he mistaken? Absolutely. Was he reckless and ignorant? I think so. Did he knowingly turn in a false report in the eyes of the law? Eh, tough. My city is served by an interstate with multiple exits. When accidents happen people routinely report them as being in one direction when they're actually going the other. They say it's by the one exit when it's really at the other exit three miles behind them. Heck, maybe it's not even in our city to begin with. Are those people knowingly making false reports? No, they're not, they're legitimately trying to report what they perceive to be an emergency. They're laypeople who panic and get confused when confronted with an unexpected situation, so they see things that didn't really happen and they stumble over basic facts.

In contrast to the topic of this thread, the SWATing caller a) was not there, b) purported to be someone he wasn't, c) used technical measures to obscure his identity and location, d) purported to have personally committed multiple violent felonies, e) claimed intent to commit more violent felonies, and f) was definitely not trying to legitimately report any kind of any emergency, real or perceived.
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Re: Police Kill Innocent Man / Swatting Incident

Postby schmieg » Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:20 pm

djthomas wrote:
schmieg wrote:I think that is the problem. These yahoos are rarely charged. Inducing panic is an interesting idea, but the police are considered to be special in that regard, less susceptible to panic, less susceptible to fighting words. Then there is reality.

No, not charging the police with inducing panic, charging the caller.

Beavercreek is not what most people would consider to be a SWATing call. Did the Beavercreek caller make efforts to conceal his identity? No. Was he mistaken? Absolutely. Was he reckless and ignorant? I think so. Did he knowingly turn in a false report in the eyes of the law? Eh, tough. My city is served by an interstate with multiple exits. When accidents happen people routinely report them as being in one direction when they're actually going the other. They say it's by the one exit when it's really at the other exit three miles behind them. Heck, maybe it's not even in our city to begin with. Are those people knowingly making false reports? No, they're not, they're legitimately trying to report what they perceive to be an emergency. They're laypeople who panic and get confused when confronted with an unexpected situation, so they see things that didn't really happen and they stumble over basic facts.

In contrast to the topic of this thread, the SWATing caller a) was not there, b) purported to be someone he wasn't, c) used technical measures to obscure his identity and location, d) purported to have personally committed multiple violent felonies, e) claimed intent to commit more violent felonies, and f) was definitely not trying to legitimately report any kind of any emergency, real or perceived.

No, the caller would be presumed to have a difficult job of inducing panic in calling the police as opposed to yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater.

I think the caller in the Beavercreek affair went beyond reckless when you compare what he reported to the store video tapes of the victim in that case. The caller said that the man was pointing the gun at people and causing alarm, but the tapes don't back that up.
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Re: Police Kill Innocent Man / Swatting Incident

Postby djthomas » Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:55 pm

schmieg wrote:No, the caller would be presumed to have a difficult job of inducing panic in calling the police as opposed to yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater.

I think the caller in the Beavercreek affair went beyond reckless when you compare what he reported to the store video tapes of the victim in that case. The caller said that the man was pointing the gun at people and causing alarm, but the tapes don't back that up.

That's why there's two separate statutes with similar penalties: inducing panic and making false reports. I would like to see SWATing added to making false reports because then it's not dependent on how much pandemonium you cause 100 miles away. Your report was false, here's the damage it caused, boom, next case.

I really don't want to re-litigate Beavercreek further in this thread. The authorities looked at it and decided that for whatever reason it was not a false report. Suffice it to say that since the core of a SWATing is a false report it wouldn't have mattered if there were SWAT-specific provisions on the books.
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Re: Police Kill Innocent Man / Swatting Incident

Postby bignflnut » Wed Jan 03, 2018 4:03 pm

djthomas wrote:No, not charging the police with inducing panic, charging the caller.

Beavercreek is not what most people would consider to be a SWATing call. Did the Beavercreek caller make efforts to conceal his identity? No. Was he mistaken? Absolutely. Was he reckless and ignorant? I think so. Did he knowingly turn in a false report in the eyes of the law? Eh, tough. ...

In contrast to the topic of this thread, the SWATing caller a) was not there, b) purported to be someone he wasn't, c) used technical measures to obscure his identity and location, d) purported to have personally committed multiple violent felonies, e) claimed intent to commit more violent felonies, and f) was definitely not trying to legitimately report any kind of any emergency, real or perceived.


When my original comment was made, I quoted schmieg who suggested that SWATing be a specific criminal offense, so we were very much on topic. "False" report would be the point that defense attorneys would make, as djthomas is picking it apart. True, these are laypeople, if you wish, who do not comprehend the legal ramifications of what they're saying. Ignorance is the defense, then? Intent? Does anyone care why you're filing a false report? It is or it isn't false. Shall we allow misinformed people to make false reports? Shall we accept false reports from people who don't intend harm?

Then comes the way that people call in self-defense reports:
Half the convictions in self-defense cases come from the 911 recordings. — Mitch Vilos, author, Self Defense Laws of All 50 States.

I propose the following law to protect 911 callers, involved in legitimate self-defense cases and give them some limited immunity from statements they make during these high-stress situations.


More and more reason to not call the emergency phone line.

Bottom line is that we all want to have the good guys on speed dial and trust that they'll do good deeds upon arrival. The whole point of small government was so that we wouldn't fear for our lives or liberties. Just isn't so. The State can't protect us.

Finally there's a case where the SWATing can't be explained away as some act of brave heroics. Perhaps this will advise caution when acting on a singular call-in report. Likely not.
Last edited by bignflnut on Wed Jan 03, 2018 4:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Police Kill Innocent Man / Swatting Incident

Postby djthomas » Wed Jan 03, 2018 4:47 pm

bignflnut wrote:When my original comment was made, I quoted schmieg who suggested that Swatting be a specific criminal offense, so we were very much on topic. "False" report would be the point that defense attorneys would make, as djthomas is picking it apart. True, these are laypeople, if you wish, who do not comprehend the legal ramifications of what they're saying. Ignorance is the defense, then? Intent? Does anyone care why you're filing a false report? It is or it isn't false. Shall we allow misinformed people to make false reports? Shall we accept false reports from people who don't intend harm?

In criminal cases mens rea is something the state must convince the jury of beyond a reasonable doubt. By and large society seems to do alright with this arrangement. Does it get it right 100% of the time? Nope.

BTW when I said laypeople I didn't mean in terms of the law. Most people know it's illegal to make a false report. But they are usually not trained in handling stressful situations and maintaining their wits about them. Tunnel vision creeps in. People get in a car accident and forget where they are or even which direction they were headed, even though they drive that stretch of road twice a day, five days a week. People see a guy with a gun and honestly believe they see things happening that really aren't. That's life.*

You are right, the report is either false or it isn't, but the law isn't that simple. Whether the reporter reasonably knew its veracity is the crux of the matter.** I'd like to see a defense attorney seriously raise that in the Kansas incident. What I suspect will happen is minimization and deflection: of course he knew it was false, but he was just joking around, he had no idea it would evoke such a strong law enforcement response, etc.

* I totally expect the police to account for this in their response, however.
** This protects the average citizen far more than it protects the average criminal by the way.
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Re: Police Kill Innocent Man / Swatting Incident

Postby M-Quigley » Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:00 pm

JediSkipdogg wrote:
M-Quigley wrote:The video makes it look a large distance, but that is possibly not an accurate perspective.


There's also nothing saying the video they have released is from the one that made the shot. They supposedly had the house surrounded (that could be 3 officers or 10.) Therefore it's really unknown what distance and what angle the officer that fired the shot had.


I looked at the video again, this time trying to see if I could see the cop that fired. If you look at the video in the OP, in the bottom left corner of the video, you''ll see the rifle barrel of the shooter at approx. :35 next to or leaning on the right side of the back of the pickup truck. He appears to fire one shot with a rifle at approx. :46 I'm surprised that I didn't notice it before, but I was previously focusing in on the victim and trying to (unsuccessfully) see if I could discern what exactly he was doing.
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Re: Police Kill Innocent Man / Swatting Incident

Postby M-Quigley » Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:27 pm

http://www.kansas.com/news/local/crime/ ... 66859.html

The Wichita Police Department has no policy or specific training on “swatting” – a hoax that involves officers being dispatched to faked emergencies, Police Chief Gordon Ramsay said Tuesday.

Ramsay said he is getting calls from police chiefs around the nation after a Wichita police officer shot and killed an innocent man Thursday when responding to a fake emergency call.


His understanding, Ramsay said, is that it is the first such fatal swatting shooting in the nation.

Ramsay also provided new details about the shooting and the hoax call that led to it: None of the officers at the scene of the faked emergency were members of the police tactical team, known as SWAT, that is specially trained to handle hostage situations like the one that was called in Thursday and led to Finch’s death.

It was too early in the emergency call for the SWAT team to arrive “or even be called,” Ramsay said.


Police have released some limited video of the incident because “it’s the one .. that provides the most visual details” of the shooting, he said.

“We believe what it shows … his (Finch’s) hands go up and down and around his waistband, and the one arm goes out at about a 45-degree angle.”

The video provided was worn by an officer next to the officer who fired, Ramsay said.

The body camera worn by the officer who pulled the trigger was apparently on his head and didn’t show as much, Ramsay said.

Asked whether police will release all the video, Ramsay said: “I want to release all that I can. It has got to be in conjunction with the prosecuting attorney’s office. … When this is done, we will release all the video. But the decisions … now have to be done in conjunction with prosecutors and state law.

“And it’s still an active investigation,” he said. “We don’t want to influence witnesses; we don’t want to influence jurors.”
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Re: Police Kill Innocent Man / Swatting Incident

Postby gfrlaser » Sat Jan 06, 2018 7:57 am

The body camera worn by the officer who pulled the trigger was apparently on his head and didn’t show as much, Ramsay said.


I had no idea they ever wear them on their head.......
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Re: Police Kill Innocent Man / Swatting Incident

Postby bignflnut » Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:27 am

gfrlaser wrote:
The body camera worn by the officer who pulled the trigger was apparently on his head and didn’t show as much, Ramsay said.


I had no idea they ever wear them on their head.......

Theoretically a chest worn camera could be pressed against a car, the ground (if prone), a suspect/wall, or generally obstructed, but if the camera is only inches away from the eye, then the camera is generally seeing what the officer can see.

Think of blading your torso if using a shouldered weapon. The torso camera could be pointed in a different direction (by nearly 90 degrees) than the head down the sight picture. (think about working around a corner for cover)
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Re: Police Kill Innocent Man / Swatting Incident

Postby JediSkipdogg » Sat Jan 06, 2018 10:36 am

gfrlaser wrote:
The body camera worn by the officer who pulled the trigger was apparently on his head and didn’t show as much, Ramsay said.


I had no idea they ever wear them on their head.......


The Axon Flex camera line... https://www.axon.com/products/flex-2 ... is designed to be worn on glasses or a hat. We tried them out when we were testing body cameras and nobody really liked them. If worn on glasses, you have to continually adjust them as the weight will cant it to one side. My officers rarely wear hats, so nobody even tested them on a hat.

The usability of the footage is hundreds of times better from the head view than the body view. In our testing we saw what the officer was looking at. We could see down the sights of the gun/taser. We just didn't see hands in the way all the time.
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Re: Police Kill Innocent Man / Swatting Incident

Postby catfish86 » Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:43 pm

Body cameras are almost always obscured by the hands it seems. Maybe a set of safety glasses with a camera/google glass device is doable.

As to Swatting, clearly this incident was instigated with the intent of harming the target, he simply used law enforcement as his weapon. The intended harm may have been fear, confusion and a potential beat down, but it is equally obvious the potential for deadly results. Considering a large proportion of this crime involves interstate action (ie the target is not in the same state), a federal law would be most appropriate/consistent as to discouraging the activity as opposed to jurisdictional issues likely to play out. He was in California, do those laws apply or the laws in Kansas where the death occurred? It appears he is being extradited to Kansas but given different combinations of states its entirely possible to do this with little or no consequences.
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