SWATing is a deadly, dangerous prank. Michael Adams, shown here, is charged with reckless endangerment and several other crimes for allegedly SWATing his neighbor in September. The indictment charges that Adams called 911 anonymously on September 16th, 2013 to report a hostage situation at his neighbor’s home. Adams described a man with IED’s strapped to his chest and pointing an AR-15 at him. He was arrested and charged after detectives traced the calls back to him. He’s since been released on $50,000 bail . . .
Upon receiving the call, the police predictably showed up en masse at the unlucky neighbor’s house and cleared it. The neighbor turned out to be lucky after all, because the house was empty at the time. He was on vacation so no one was shot by the SWAT team.
Detectives traced the call to Adams, who claimed that he was the victim of phone hacking. He gave them permission to examine his computer and PS3 game console and they used the evidence obtained to get a search warrant for everything else.
It’s nice to see a SWAT’er arrested and charged, but (alleged) punks like Adams are only half of the SWATing problem. The rest, which I consider an even more serious risk to public safety, is the predictable and overly-aggressive response by heavily militarized police agencies. Not every panicked 911 call should lead to a SWAT team with flashbang grenades and MP-5Ks.
Mall-ninja police and no-knock raids were unfortunate police responses to the crime wave of the late 1980s to mid-1990s. Our society is vastly less dangerous now, but our police are vastly more so.