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“Conservative bloggers say they are being terrorized by a potentially deadly prank in which phony 911 calls bring armed cops to their doors in search of criminals, all in retaliation for their blog posts,” foxnews.com reports. “At least two conservative Internet pundits have reported being victims of ‘SWAT-ing.’ In one incident, the caller claimed to be the resident of the home and confessed to shooting his wife .” Interesting that it took police 19 minutes to pull LA Deputy DA Patrick Frey (a.k.a., Patterico) from his digs. Equally interesting, in an OMFG kinda way, what the hell would any well-armed citizen do when the SWAT team arrives? In this no-knock militarized police world we live in, you wouldn’t even have time to hide the dogs. As for those of us who home carry, uh-oh. What YOU gonna do when they come for you, especially if you don’t know it’s them?

92 Responses to Question of the Day: What Would You Do If You Were SWATed?

  1. “OMFG”

    I’m not ‘religious’ yet I’d prefer not to read acronyms that meaningfully slander and take God’s name in vane.

    Otherwise, an interesting social phenomena to read about. Another good reason to make sure certain personality types do not know you own a gun. Just imagine the headaches and accidental shootings if SWATing becomes a bigger trend. Fortunately, many of the calls can be traced to their source and are recorded for prosecution.

    • The “G” stood for Gaston. Gaston Glock having designed the Yahweh model around 6,000 years ago in Austria. Yahweh models command around 65% of the religious market. Despite claiming perfection, additional scriptures are added roughly every 1500-2000 years.

    • Well I am religious, not perfect, but religious and would also prefer not to read slanderous comments concerning GOD or anyone’s deity. And as I’ve read here numerous times in the past, reserving your comments (ST@U) may result in a better outcome when judgement (court) day comes.

    • “Vain”. A vane is a blade or plate or whatever designed to be moved by air, like a weather vane.

      And if that kind of stuff bothers you, stay off the internet. It’s in common currency, so you’ll see it a lot. I’d rather not read rants about feminism any time someone without a Y chromosome is even tangentially related to a story, but I wouldn’t dream of asking that you be censored.

      As for judgment day, whatever. I’d imagine the supposedly omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent deity already knows what I think and if it comes down to whether or not I used certain acronyms in my comments on TTAG, he’s even more petty than I thought. And even less deserving of worship. That is, if I even thought he existed.

      • Thanks for the correction on the proper use of vain and vane. I sometimes ignore the ignorant follow-up comments to posts such as are made by MikeB and frequently yourself. Sometimes not.

        I have every right to comment in reply to a post or another comment If you don’t like my comments about X and Y Chromes then don’t read any of my comments or if you don’t like it then you stay off the Internet. Bottom line: you’re often the typical modern left-winger who only supports freedom of speech when it fits your agenda.

        • FLAME DELETED

          Let’s review: you kicked off the comments by getting your panties in a twist over people taking in vain the name of a deity you don’t even believe in. I said you should either get used to it or stay off the internet, because it’s going to happen all the time. I also said I found you rants about feminism annoying but would not ask that you be censored. You apparently took this to mean that I would ask that you be censored. Just to be really clear about this, since you seem to be having trouble following, these are exact opposite statements.

          So, to sum up:
          1. People will be taking God’s name in vain on the internet. Get used to it.
          2. I find your feminism rants annoying, especially when they’re only tangentially related to the topic at hand.
          3. You’re absolutely free to continue spouting them whenever you feel like as long as it’s okay with Robert and the other fine folks who run this fine establishment.

        • “FLAME DELETED”? Seriously? Are criticisms of other posters not allowed at all? If what I wrote in the comment above qualifies, then at least the end of Aharon’s comment starting at “Bottom line” should become a “FLAME DELETED” also. I actually think neither should be, but you should be consistent with these things.

      • It amazes me that people are so shallow.
        The article describes an attempt to have some one killed by Police and the first several comments I read are offended by the the writers language ?
        Do you self righteous Bible thumpers have any objection to murder ?

        • Sorry not self righteous just an imperfect believer, although I have been known to thump my Bible on occasion! And I do have an objection to any murder. In this case however the article refers to a hoax, or a prank, or a possible warning to a conservative pundit to…….. That it has happened only a couple of times (reported to authorities), it is too early to consider it a twisted trend (thank goodness). And the perpetrator needs to be punished. So although it was a potentially deadly occurrence, no one got injured. I also don’t happen to believe that anyone on this thread is shallow or that I may know any of them well enough to consider them shallow. Maybe I just interpreted the article differently then you did.

    • I’m not ‘religious’ yet I’d prefer not to read acronyms that meaningfully slander and take God’s name in vane.

      So you don’t believe in an imaginary friend with magical powers, but you’re offended by someone saying something said imaginary friend decreed offensive? To quote Achmed “WTF? OMA?”

  2. Is there really no way to ascertain the validity of a 911 call before a citizen’s private space is violated in this way?

        • From the linked article:

          “The caller will place this call to the police department’s business line, using Skype or a similar service, and hiding behind Internet proxies to make the call impossible to trace.”

      • A knowledgeable person can spoof a phone number similar to the way spammers spoof email addresses. If you are dealing with crooks, harassers, shady telemarketers, etc., caller ID is not trustworthy.

        • That’s right. The Caller ID can be spoofed at the point of origin. Certain telephony services, like IVR service platforms, have a specific status w/ the carriers that establishes them as a trusted party, which enables them to provide their own Caller ID data. There are legitimate reasons for this, but it’s a feature of these systems that can be abused. The various parties involved in originating and transmitting Caller ID are working on solutions, but they’re not complete. Also it’s apparent that there are black market commercial interests who deliberately work to subvert checks on Caller ID in order to sell spam services and act as proxies for criminals like Brett Kimberlin.

    • That would require actual investigation. Budgets don’t grow and new toys don’t get authorized when careful police work gets done. Some simple steps off the top of my head: calling the neighbors, calling the land-line number for the address and talking to someone (police using a bull-horn is not ‘talking’).

  3. In these days of hacking and computer savvy I think it might be possible to place calls that appear to come from another source. Maybe even use people’s phones remotely to place calls. If people can hack into computers and use their machines to run SPAM programs and the like, why not a phone? The operating systems are similar, often interrelated, and phone accounts have been hacked already, sometimes prominently, featuring private photos and contacts. For a dedicated genius I think it would be possible to place simultaneous calls from different prominent officials throughout the country. What a shitstorm that would be.

    • You don’t need to be a hacker to spoof caller ID, just use a VoIP service.. My VoIP is set up to present my home # when I dial out, but I could use any # I wanted..

    • From the story, the blogger “answered the door.” I would assume that to mean he OPENED the door.

      I don’t open my door to ANYONE I am not expecting or don’t know. In this case, I’d talk through the door and explain that I will be calling 911 to verify their identity.

      If they kick the door in, people are going to die. And, for that… in the case of a hoax or mistaken identity, the police MUST be held accountable. Murder.

      • The police, the prank caller, and everyone else in on it should go to jail for 1st degree murder if that ever happens.

        • The inevitable result of this kind of thing is someone getting killed.

          Since it is known that SWAT will shoot dogs first and ask questions later, things would likely get out of hand rapidly at my house.

  4. I would try really hard to identify my target before I open fire, so hopefully I would realize that the Ninja in black wearing body armor and holding a m4 carbine is probably the po po and not a Yakuza ninja assassin here to take revenge for his slain sensei. So I would immediately drop my gun and flashlight and put my hands ups and scream like a twelve year old girl “don’t shoot!.” Then more than likely, I would get shot and be on the evening news being called a crazed militant survivalist since I own four guns and have a two week supply of top a ramen.

  5. The bigger problem here is how easy it is to get a no-knock warrant and how often they are being used. There have also been reports of criminal home invasions using the same tactics….. I have no idea what I would do.

    • “I have no idea what I would do.”

      I think the point of the question is to think about it and decide what you’d do. Draw your line in the sand and make a plan.

  6. If I’m half asleep and hear “Go go go, delta 3 tango bravo” style cop jargon, I’ll think the TV is on. Might reach for the remote (they’ll think it’s a gun) before shooting me in bed.

    • This is the most reasonable answer. Second best answer? Don’t make acquaintance with men like Mr. Kimberlin, the ex-con obsessive who took to making such calls. E. Volokh did a nice write-up on the matter recently.

  7. I predict that the incidents of armed citizens protecting themselves against these no knock, military style, home invasions will become more and more common. It’s going to escalate to the pont that it becomes a big issue. People need to decide how far they are willing to go to defend their rights. And by decide, I mean come up with a plan. I have. Many of the writers and contributors here have the means (tools and training) to vigorously defend themselves, but that is only 10% of what it takes.

    • Hence why I love Indiana’s new law explicitly stating that a citizens can shoot / kill a cop if they have reason to believe he entered their home illegally.

  8. Nobody comes through my door without an invitation. Any armed person or persons breaking into my home will get shot. What the hell do you think the guns are for?

    • Ralph, nice to have you back! Last I heard you were headed for the airport on Memorial Day. I was sorely afraid that Homeland Security had taken you on an “extreme rendition” magical mystery tour based on the “two words” you had for them on an earlier post. Stay out of trouble, will ya?

      • Mall security — oops, I meant airport security — were actually very nice, pleasant and even funny. I asked the female TSA agent for a patdown (she was actually kind of cute), and she agreed to but pointed out the large, sweaty man who would actually handle the task. I opted instead for an X-ray, ’cause Ralph’s momma didn’t raise no stupid children.

  9. A 9-1-1 call placed from a landline will give an exact location. From a cell phone it will only give a five block radius, so that could be problematic if someone makes a bogus call. The PD can obtain the cell owner’s identification from the provider, eventually, but that won’t help you at the moment.

    However, having been in law enforcement for many years, I’ve never heard of an agency sending SWAT on a routine shooting call. In Texas, in every agency I’ve ever heard of, SWAT is only mobilized if the reponding officers ascertain that the situation dictates it, and then only with a supervisor’s approval. And it’s got to be a lot more than your average run-of-the-mill killin’

    If there are agencies in the country sending SWAT on routine shooting calls they must be really bored…and stupid…and prone to over reaction… which is a leadership problem. Or, they are from a predominately anti gun state. In the mean time, don’t be too paranoid about hiding the dogs. The police shootings of dogs and the SWATing incidents you publish are anomalies. They aren’t normal everyday police responses and if fact are an extremely small percentage of overall police calls to scenes of violence or potential violence. CCW holders commiting murder are extremely rare. Same thing. They do obviously happen, but the odds of them happening to you are remote at best.

    • Sorry you forgot this is CA we are talking about. The land of gun laws for our own good and high crime.

    • Joseph: Leadership Problems IS the problem. It has become, in banking terms, a systemic problem, a vulnerability due to regulatory neglect, a bureaucracy pandemic. Between SWAT guys loving action the way RF loves gun-oriented tchotches and law enforcement relying on confidential informants to induce crimes by the stupid, our justice system needs a lot of new leadership.

  10. Q: “What Would You Do If You Were SWATed?”
    A: You would very likely be shot dead in your own house, with absolutely no legal recourse for self-defense, whatsoever.

    Which is exactly what liberal progressives want to happen to you.

      • Wrong. Liberal progressives want Americans to trust the Benevolent State, even if the State Benevolently puts a .223 hollow point into your skull for daring to raise arms against unidentified masked men dressed in black suddenly swarming YOUR living room.

        Note that if the raid team yells “POLICE! SEARCH WARRANT!” that’s not the same thing as a ‘no knock’;which is a blue-on-blue waiting to happen IMO.

      • They want anyone who disagrees with them dead or imprisoned. Don’t believe me? Actually watch their shows / read their books / listen to their interviews.

      • Technically, they don’t want all Americans dead. They just want all the ones who own guns or believe in the Constitution or have any more sense than a brain-dead MSNBC/CNN obamazombie dead.

        They’ve said it so many times on TV and in the papers, why should I doubt it? Party of tolerance? More like the party of hatred to all who oppose them.

    • He was half-right: The liberals want all the non-cops with guns dead. The conservatives want all the pot-smokers dead [except their cousin Thurston], so between the two it’s almost “everybody dead.”

  11. A home invasion constitutes unauthorized armed intrusion into my home.

    The employment status of the armed home invaders is not my concern at 3Am with a rifle pointed in my face.

    I do not wish to dictate tactics to LEOs, but no officer should serve a no-knock warrant.Better to be booted out the department and working at McDonalds for showing integrity in standing up to the Cheif, than to be shot dead by a confused homeowner at 5AM or to have the death of an innocent person on your conscience.

    • The problem is they will sleep good the night after shooting an innocent person. To cops, everyone but cops are guilty of something and they could not care less about anyone, innocent or guilty.

  12. If they don’t kill me on the spot, I hope they do rappel in through the windows. I could use some new windows paid for from the lawsuit settlement.

  13. It takes no computer genius to use the wrong caller ID (which is illegal since about a year ago). Also, a newly created skype account and your neighbour’s wifi should do the trick if all you want is to conceal your identity. But I don’t see how somebody would send the swat based only on a call which can’t be verified.
    This sounds more like an urban legend than a real life scenario.

    • Yep, it’s such an urban legend that it’s happened recently to two prominent conservative bloggers. Fully documented, and voice analysis has been done pinning one of them on a Democrat party employee. Both involve a violent felon named Brett Kimberlin, but neither managed to get the target killed, in one case because the blogger was a friend of the PD and had warned them ahead of time that such a thing could happen.

  14. What’s hilarious about so many of these responses is that many of the posters seem to think they would stand a chance / give em’ a run for thier money against a SWAT team. I don’t care how many guns you have, or what contingency plans you may have in place. Flashbangs, teargas, body armor/helmets, burst-fire rifles, possible night vision, AND the element of surprise? Ha! Any one here would likely end up full of holes the second they were seen touching, reaching, or holding (let alone pointing) a firearm. Someone here needed to submit a bit of a reality check to those that think it would go down like some action film.
    And yes- all of us left leaning Americans have an insatiable blood lust for any and all citizens, and survive on the spinal fluid of aborted fetuses (This is sarcasm, btw. Don’t want any SWAT visits, now do I?)

    • I don’t think any of us dare hallucinate that “we’d have a chance against an entire SWAT team.”

      Rather, we are simply stating how we would respond to an armed invasion of unknowns into our homes. Yes, I would shoot. Yes, I will probably die. But, I WILL fight. Because if I don’t… and they AREN’T the police, I WILL DIE. So, I see it such that I don’t have a choice in such an unfortunate scenario. But, no… I don’t think I’ll win against an actual SWAT team. I can only hope my surviving family will sue the shit out of them.

      • racer88 said it for me.

        What about the guy that let his hostage wife and kid out before the SWAT guys came in? Sure he got shot but he shot every one of them in the legs under their shields.

        The more frequent these incidents get the more people will fortify themselves with all the tools you mentioned. Living as a sheep is easy for some people. Some people would rather die free. As cliched as the popular MOLON LABE is in some circles, there are rights that would be eager to fight, and willing to die for.

    • I guess since we don’t stand a chance, we shouldn’t even bother fighting. Just roll onto your back and piss on your belly.

      Submit. Obey.

  15. It’s called “caller-ID spoofing.” There are services now that allow you to choose whatever phone number you want to show on the recipient’s caller-ID display. I’ve used them before, they work.

      • Nice. Keep in mind, though- if they see you have a gun, the likelihood that they will give you time to surrender is probably comparable to the likelihood that you will be able to take down the entire team.

        If at all possible, ID your target while keeping your gun concealed. If it’s not possible, pray it’s not the police.

  16. Absent something nefarious happening to one of my children or my wife, an erroneous police home invasion is just about my worst nightmare.

    I’m afraid it would end with my loving border collie/german shepherd mix being shot for valiantly trying to defend us and with me lying dead at the top of the stairs with an undetermined amount of bodies lying at the foot of the stairs. And, if the rest of my family were to survive, they would likely be scarred for life by the trauma.

    I don’t know which criminal laws are broken by the police in these situations, but I’d like to see some prosecutorial zealotry take place the next time this happens. Civil suits and administrative leave with pay “punishments” are not enough, in my opinion.

  17. I reckon some every day law abiding citizens can’t help but hide under the bed at night, what with all the gubment conspiracies, black helicopters buzzing around, and swat teams hiding in the bushes waiting to shoot puppies. As Charlie Brown likes to say…”Good Grief.”

  18. To answer the original question, that’s a tough one. Unfortunately, the best bad solution is probably to put your hands where they can see them, yell “don’t shoot!” and hope that they actually are SWAT and not criminals playing dress-up. Which there will be more and more of in the future.

  19. The odds of it happening are slim, but they’re not zero. Again, a long time ago in a county far far away, I served as a Reserve Deputy Sheriff. (That meant that the county got about six eight hour shifts a month for free out of me, usually covering for someone on vacation.) Back then I wore a nice light blue shirt, with dark blue pants, sporting a nice stripe down the leg, a white stetson, cowboy boots, and big, shiny six pointed star badge. I wore a leather gun belt and smiled a lot at the good folks who would have paid my salary if I got one. I carried a Smith and Wesson Highway Patrolman in .357, and there was a shotgun in the rack on the dash. I didn’t look like a storm trooper (I saved that for my paying job).

    Today, the Deputies in that same county wear black shirts and pants with a cloth badge sewn over the pocket (subdued, no doubt for camouflage), the same ballistic eye protection I wore in Iraq and Afghanistan, semi-auto’s in thigh holsters, combat boots, and a perpetual scowl. They have Kevlar helmets and vests in the trunk, along with M16s (as in full auto, rock and roll hell yeah get some) and flashbangs. They look more like a stormtrooper than I do, and damnit I AM A STORMTROOPER.

    When did we decide that we were going to militarize our police? When did we decide that the Fourth Amendment didn’t preclude masked gunmen under the authority of “THE STATE” from knocking our doors off the hinges, throwing HAND GRENADES through our windows, shooting our dogs, and zip tying our kids?

    When did we decide that our police need armored cars (the Killeen PD uses the same armored patrol vehicle that the MP’s used in Baghdad) and drones? How much more are we willing to put up with?

    The problem with toys, is that if we have them, we’re going to use them, if nothing else to justify having them. When the number of fires started declining every year, fire departments starting sticking an EMT on every engine company and rolling them on every medical call. Presto, despite half the number of fires as 1975, they do three times the number of calls, so obviously they need the big budget. Why send SWAT to serve all of your warrants? So we can justify the budget.

    Sometimes I don’t recognize the America that I’ve spent the last 23 years defending from “all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Lately the domestic enemies scare me more than the foreign.

    • Acute summary, LTC C. My township isn’t like that, but I travel into jurisdictions which clearly do fit your descriptions. My theory is that cops like to imagine themselves facing the kind of risks soldiers in Afghanistan do, mainly as a last-ditch way to justify their pay and pensions. In fact they face less danger than roofers, fisherman, and many others. The problem is that key fat-cats in many counties are as paranoid as a meth cooker at work, and so they like this militarization right up until their son gets shot by mistake.

      • Hmm. Maybe the solution is to turn them against themselves. I imagine if you called saying there was a shooting at the home of a politicians family member. SWAT would get there pretty fast.

  20. The main problem is unknown people busting through a locked door into a home for no apparent reason. I don’t care what time of day it is. How in the world is a homeowner supposed to know that they are law enforcement? I fully expect an armed homeowner to shoot at anyone busting through their door unannounced. These no-knock “searches” have to stop.

  21. This happened a couple months ago. Someone called the cops and said these two kids had guns and robbed him. Then the cops killed the kids the guy got charged with manslaughter.

  22. I plead the fifth, I was afraid for my life, and STFU.
    Ralph i will have you on speed dial as my attorney lol

  23. Build a house that was SWAT-resistant.

    Modern dwellings, security-wise, suck. It’s not difficult or horribly expensive to build a dwelling that will keep a SWAT team out. A few concrete anti-tank barricades bordering the lawn to keep any APC far enough away from the dwelling that it can’t ram into it, and doors that don’t fall down if people take a battering ram to it.

    If you look at expensive high-end high security data centers, you’ll see a lot of security features that would keep a very determined SWAT team out, but to the uneducated eye, it just looks like a nice building.

    We live in the equivalent of straw houses these days. It’s sad. But we don’t have to. An armed mob, a SWAT team, or heavily armed robbers. You house should be able to keep them out. Long enough for you to get away unseen anyway.

  24. “What YOU gonna do when they come for you, especially if you don’t know it’s them?”

    I’ll tell you exactly what will happen: I will protect my family from the unannounced intruders by ballistic means. After I realize it’s the police, I will already be embroiled in a firefight that I will almost certainly lose, in which simply ceasing fire will not be an option: If I have taken down some of the cops’ buddies and I surrender, I will simply be murdered on the spot by the next man with a gun.

    Hence the danger of no-knock raids: People can die.

  25. Regrettably, I live in an upscale neighborhood where there’s an HOA. Fortunately, the HOA contracts with the local Sheriff to designate at least one deputy to the neighborhood on a priority basis to handle our calls to 911. Ours is Deputy Mendoza and Deputy Munez.

    Occasionally, another deputy may be dispatched if the others are otherwise occupied. But mostly, I see these two guys answering 911 calls for domestic violence, home alarms and burglary reports.

    I’ve gotten to know them both and we had a discussion about what would happen if someone, SWAT or not, appeared on my door. And, a firearm’s either carried or within easy reach when I’m at home. Wife too.

    Hey, I have enemies. Some of you might too. And, someone knocking on the door and announcing he was an officer of the law or kicking the door down without announcing they were LE is very likely to be shot as I’d simply not believe them.

    We’re pretty law abiding. So, I don’t expect there ever to be a real danger in my home that might involve the Sheriff. But our deputies and I agreed that if they were party to a “visit” all they’d have to do is use my middle name, only my friends call me by my middle name, and announce that they’re who they are and I’d lay down my arms and let them in without any trouble at all.

    I help the deputies solve crimes often enough that they know me and my home. I have given them several tips that resulted in arrests.

    I hope I don’t have the test this. But, at least, that’s what I’m going to try to do. I hope it works.

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