We live in strange times where a new fad is become most worrying. The fad is called swatting, and its most recent victim was Youtuber Jordan “Kootra” Mathewson, who was arrested by a SWAT team following his front door being kicked down and his house stormed by the armed force.
If you hadn’t already guessed swatting is where somebody puts in an anonymous hoax call to the emergency services, offering up enough serious claims to have a SWAT team dispatched. F0r whatever reason this is deemed funny, when in reality it’s one of the stupidest things I’ve seen in a very long time.
An emergency SWAT team call-out such as this can cost around £6,000, or $10,000. But far more importantly is that there’s a genuine chance of the innocent party getting shot or killed. According to the Colorado police who stormed Mathewson’s house;
“The caller claimed to have shot two co-workers, held others hostage, and threatened to shoot them. He stated that if the officers entered he would shoot them as well,” a police spokesperson said.
Given the nature of the call, had Mathewson made a wrong move he may have been shot without hesitation, either wounding him or potentially killing him.
Unsurprisingly this new fad has also sparked further debate on the nature of police forces, with many calling them out on this particular video for being too harsh and for breaking one of the amendments by reading the persons phone.
To be clear, I do advocate that there are serious problems within the police forces of my country, Scotland, and also that of America. Their militarization is something worthy of concern, as is the many counts of brutality and abuse of power. Yet, I side with the SWAT forces on this one. They reacted in a fast and brutal fashion to a caller claiming to have killed people and intending on killing more. SWAT reacted quickly, and the checking of the phone was probably done to try to ensure no warning calls had been sent, potential bomb activations and more. Some people have attempted to claim that this was a overeaction to an anonymous call. Had the situation been different, then yes, you’d be right, but in this specific situation, the reaction is hardly surprising.
The fault lies solely with the person who made the call and endangered someones life.
“There were no victims or any evidence that a shooting had taken place. If the investigation determines that today’s incident was a hoax, those involved will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.” Stated the police force.
The law in this case would allow for the person in question to have to pay the full cost of the SWAT team’s call-out, plus up to a year in jail. Both would be well deserved.
It’s a funny old world. And really bloody stupid sometimes.