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Nov 18

Calif. Man Pleads Guilty in Fatal Swatting Case, Faces 20+ Years in Prison

A California man who pleaded guilty Tuesday to causing dozens of swatting attacks — including a deadly incident in Kansas last year — now faces 20 or more years in prison.

Tyler Raj Barriss, in an undated selfie.

Tyler Barriss, 25, went by the nickname SWAuTistic on Twitter, and reveled in perpetrating “swatting” attacks. These dangerous hoaxes involve making false claims to emergency responders about phony hostage situations or bomb threats, with the intention of prompting a heavily-armed police response to the location of the claimed incident.

On Dec. 28, 2017, Barriss placed a call from California to police in Wichita, Kansas, claiming that he was a local resident who’d just shot his father and was holding other family members hostage.

When Wichita officers responded to the address given by the caller — 1033 W. McCormick — they shot and killed 28-year-old Andrew Finch, a father of two who had done nothing wrong.

Barriss admitted setting that fatal swatting attack in motion after getting in the middle of a dispute between two Call of Duty gamers, 18-year-old Casey Viner from Ohio and Shane Gaskill, 20, from Wichita.

Viner allegedly asked Barriss to swat Gaskill. But when Gaskill noticed Barriss’ Twitter account (@swattingaccount) suddenly following him online, he tried to deflect the attack. Barriss says Gaskill allegedly dared him to go ahead with the swat, but then gave Barriss an old home address — 1033 W. McCormick — which was then being occupied by Finch’s family.

Viner and Gaskill are awaiting trial. A more detailed account of their alleged dispute is told here.

According to the Justice Department, Barriss pleaded guilty to making hoax bomb threats in phone calls to the headquarters of the FBI and the Federal Communications Commission in Washington, D.C. He also made bomb threat and swatting calls from Los Angeles to emergency numbers in Ohio, New Hampshire, Nevada, Massachusetts, Illinois, Utah, Virginia, Texas, Arizona, Missouri, Maine, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, New York, Michigan, Florida and Canada.

U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said Barriss faces 20 years or more in prison. Barriss is due to be sentenced Jan. 30, 2019.

Many readers following this story over the past year have commented here that the officer who fired the shot which killed Andrew Finch should also face prosecution. However, the district attorney for the county that encompasses Wichita decided in April that the officer will not face charges, and will not be named because he isn’t being charged with a crime.

As the victim of a swatting attack in 2013 and two other attempted swattings, I’m glad to finally see a swatting prosecution that may actually serve as a deterrent to this idiotic and extremely dangerous crime going forward.

It’s also great to see police departments like Seattle’s taking steps to help head off swatting incidents before they happen. Last month, the Seattle Police 911 Center launched a new program that lets residents register their address and corresponding concerns if they feel they may be the target of swatting.

But it would also be nice if more police forces around the country received additional training on exercising restraint in the use of deadly force, particularly in responding to hostage or bomb threat scenarios that have hallmarks of a swatting hoax.

For example, perpetrators of swatting often call non-emergency numbers at state and local police departments to carry out their crimes precisely because they are not local to the region and cannot reach the target’s police department by calling 911. This is exactly what Tyler Barriss did in the Wichita case and others. Swatters also often use text-to-speech (TTY) services for the hearing impaired to relay hoax swat calls, as was the case with my 2013 swatting.

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91 comments

  1. Thank-you for your report, Brian.

    This story CANNOT have wide enough circulation — both domestically and world-wide.

    • I would be careful how far you spread the story.

      The rest of our solar system probably doesn’t care either way what happens on planet Earth. They are busy dealing with unwanted space probes from Earth.

      The rest of the galaxy and other star systems probably have inhabitants that would find human beings tasty on a sandwich.

  2. The Sunshine State

    This guy is going to be ‘fresh fish’ when he gets to the prison !

  3. “Wired” magazine did an in-depth story in the last issue on this crime.
    https://www.wired.com/story/swatting-deadly-online-gaming-prank/

  4. Readers, should we petition to have SWATting legally fall under Conspiracy to Commit Murder and/or Attempted Murder, with all of the penalties that go with those charges? If the conspiracy charge does not exist in your area, what do you suggest? Please, reason this through & respond.

    • @mike – I was disappointed too – but this is a case of first impression and we have seen situations like this in the past where a DA makes a decision to seek a more serious charge (depraved indifference would be the charge in GA) and then the perpetrator gets off – so a lessor charge is more likely to result in a conviction. We don’t know exactly what the sentence will be, but I hope they ask and receive the maximum. That poor family and those poor kids. breaks my heart

    • To call it conspiracy to murder or attempted murder, we’d need to treat police as a dangerous weapon, with an expectation that they’re incapable of being non-violent.

      That would expose government to liability for training police, like Wichita Officer Rapp, to kill senselessly.

      • “we’d need to treat police as a dangerous weapon, with an expectation that they’re incapable of being non-violent.”

        Isnt this exactly the case in the US? The Officer in this case essentially showed up to a hostage situation, and then killed a hostage.

        • Anon 404,

          To some degree, yes.

          Currently, police overreactions and bad actions are protected, as long as they follow “procedure and training,” and their behavior is reasonable to other police. This fiction of qualified immunity needs to change and LE needs to be judged by what’s reasonable to the average joe.

    • @Mike:

      I don’t think the crime is attempted murder. I see extreme negligence, willful disregard for the well-being of another person, and the creation of an extremely dangerous situation for his own satisfaction, and consequences worthy of a good long time in prison. I also see very little room to plead any mitigating circumstances. I’m not a lawyer, have spent time in courtrooms on multiple occasions for friends, family, and school purposes, including capital cases.

      15-25 years day for day would be a good start.

  5. Brian–the question of jurisdiction arose when this tragedy occurred, and there was a question of whether the defendant should be held in Kansas or California. Do you happen to know where the defendant’s plea was entered??

  6. Great to see some of these types getting their just desserts! Will we see you at AISA next year Brian?

  7. If you can post his prison address, please do so. I’d like to send him a gallon bucket of KY Jelly.

    • ew. there is always one commenter obsessed with anal rape…

    • Where do you plan to purchase the aforementioned buket? I don’t recall seeing such an item in the Family Planning section of my local Target… Perhaps I should ask the pharmacist?

  8. What about those who swat but don’t live in the states? I guess they could be extradited, but it really depends…
    But still, the root of the problem relies on the officers. I feel like the officer should have been punished, at the very minimum relieved of duty, as his lack of restraint is concerning.

    Now I might argue the root of the problem is with ID spoofing to local #s, but even if ID spoofing was somehow dealt with (or it could be detected somehow by LEA), people can still buy local #s online cheaply or even for free.

    • The root of the problem is the officers?

      They are rolling on a call involving gunfire and lives in danger! What the hell do you expect the officer to do? Knock? Bring cookies maybe?

      The root of the problem is the delinquents making the false reports. Do not ever, ever try to shift blame from a criminal to a police officer like that.

      • Having been a LE officer in Europe, I do think the level of violence is quite absurd in the States. Even considering you have to approach everyone as being armed, the mentality seems to be to shoot first. Mistakes can happen, especially when you are primes for an active gunman, but fake or mistaken information in a 911 call should not be the cause of death.

      • No Jeff, the root of the problem is officers that think this same way… that there are only 2 modes… completely peaceful (knocking on door)… and full violence.

        There is a spectrum of escalation.

        No officer heard “gunfire”, and there was no confirmation of “lives in danger”. They took for granted an anonymous voice on the phone.

        The root problem is that police are too willing to jump to the same conclusions that they are being spoon fed.

        • Agree 100%

          I have started to basically say I told you so to everyone who defends police and gives the typical answer “well only one bad apple” BS. Citizens need to wake up and realize they are just as bad if not worse than organized crime because one they ALWAYS get the benefit of doubt in any situation and the biggest screw you to any citizen is called qualified immunity. Long story short you can never sue a cop.

          But the ultimate truth tool we have is that rectangle thing in your pocket that millions of citizens have, that has finally shown the how these fucks have been trampling on your rights since the formation of the USA. So to the bad apple people, fuck off your bluff has been called.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qualified_immunity

          • DJ,
            Defining things as “Us and Them” is never an answer to a problem. It is YOUR police. You DO want a strong police force and you DO want them to use deadly force if needed, because they are better at it then some random people who happen to own a gun. Aren’t there far more deaths by shootings in poorly policed neighborhoods then by police violence?
            So if you really want solutions, you have to dig into your pocket. More training, two officers per car, more SWAT teams etc. might all contribute but all cost money. So you have to vote for a party that wants to RAISE tax!
            It obviously does not help that every ten houses have their own police force, an other taboo. And talking about taboo’s, if you allow everyone to have a gun, you also have to accept the consequences. It is not like in the movies, that the good guy always wins the gunfight.
            Why are discussions about police shootings end up in people defining victims and bad guys, and nobody looking at the complexity of the problem?

            • >Why are discussions about police shootings end up in people defining victims and bad guys, and nobody looking at the complexity of the problem?

              The impunity enjoyed by police officers implicated in questionable civilian deaths makes it difficult to have a very nuanced conversation.

              When any civilian would face murder charges for the same behavior, maybe that’s not such a complex problem to solve?

              • Any citizen would be tried for a crime in a similar situation because it is not the job of a citizen to inject themselves into potentially dangerous and deadly situations like the police are. If you find yourself in a situation like that and you are unable to safely get out of it, you would not be tried because you would then be defending yourself. Which is something you can legally do.

                While yes, some of these situations could have been handled better, it is also extremely easy to armchair quarterback and pass judgement after the fact. Unless you have been in a similar situation, you can’t really say how you would have reacted.

      • “They are rolling on a call involving gunfire and lives in danger! What the hell do you expect the officer to do? Knock? Bring cookies maybe?”

        Id expect that they not shoot the hostages, which is essentially what happened in this case. The officer showed up to a reported hostage situation, and shot the first person who came to the door. In this case there as no shooter, so every person in that home was a hostage, and the officer shot and killed one of those hostages.

      • If, by “Knock? Bring cookies maybe?” you mean “Try to communicate/assess the situation or attempt to defuse a situation before busting down doors and opening fire?” Most emphatically, YES! Too many SWAT teams take their training queues from Hollywood. And yes, I put the first blame on the swatter, but the death of this father and the trauma to the rest of the family was completely avoidable.

        This could have been avoided with a simple call to the residence first. This was started by a supposed attacker calling to report his supposed activity in the first place, right? In that case, why not call? Even if it was real, wouldn’t negotiation be a better way, even if the only result was just to gain more intel before breaching the home?

  9. While it’s good to see these guys get thrown in the slammer, there aren’t enough jails to hold all these stupid people. Ultimately the police need to be held accountable for their shoot first, ask questions later attitudes. The laws need to be changed so that the cops are required to think 1st, not only before they shoot, but before their draw their guns out.

    • Mr. Schumann,

      Can you please explain what expertise you have in the training that police officers receive in this area — or any area? Were you at this scene as it unfolded? Did you see the officer act without regard for the life and safety of not only the victim but also of himself and the other officers?

      • Larry, we do not need to be an expert on police training to judge the outcome as unacceptable. As this case, statistics cited by Red, or the Jemel Roberson case (https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/13/us/security-officer-police-shooting-suburban-chicago/index.html) show, police do act in a way that disregards public safety. Denying that there is a problem, as you are, is complicit in the problem. This is simply not tolerable. It undermines public trust and endangers police by causing them to be viewed as the enemy and a threat to public safety not an asset to it.

      • Part of the problem is that police like to operate as if nobody has a right to oversee or criticize their actions unless they have “expertise”. It is blue fraternity in which “civilians” have no right to judge.

        This is fundamentally wrong, they should be accountable to the community. Even those in the community who have no idea about being law enforcement.

        Police enjoy a LOT of protections behind the badge. They not only get the “self-defense” protection, they get “fellow officers” protection. They can open fire based on even a hint of a weapon or aggression.

        Rapp was, “across West McCormick Street, about 40 yards away”. “Justin Rapp, who was across the street and viewing the scene through his rifle’s nonmagnifying scope”

        No other officer felt threaten enough to open fire. Rapp alone made that decision. It was a bad decision that should have consequences. Too often do officers get shielded from their bad decisions.

        A civilian making a similar fatal decision, gets the book thrown at them. A minority civilian making a similar fatal decision gets two books thrown at them.
        While police officers get full protection based on the badge, and nothing more.

        • You’re a good person Joe. Thank you for just flat out understanding, as a victim of police violence and malicious prosecution I greatly appreciate your perspective.

        • Sadly, a civilian of color making a similar fatal decision is often subject to summary execution at the hands of law enforcement, which brings us full circle.

    • Agreed.

      In the USA, the per capita rate of police shootings is seven times higher than in Canada, probably because of tighter gun control but also a different type of police training

      In the first 24 days of 2015, police in the US fatally shot more people than police did in England…over the past 24 years. Even considering the different population sizes, that should be a wake-up call.

      • did you forget to take in the population ratio, and the fact that there are way more stabbings per capita in England.
        Yes some states really need much better training, and better physic profiling. Officers are dealing with much more stressful situations than most people can deal with, and need proper training. Some states do a great job, some do not. Viewing these statistics state by state will show you it is not a US problem, it is a state level and in some cases city level problem. The state I live in has lower shootings than 90% of other states, and even less than Canada.

      • I mean, Canada has 36.71 million vs the US having 325.7 million. Thats around 8.8% difference. Seems Canada as just as much issues.

      • “In the USA, the per capita rate of police shootings is seven times higher than in Canada, probably because of tighter gun control but also a different type of police training”. The United States is awash in guns. In Chicago YTD, 2,657 people have been shot while there have been only 16 police-involved shootings. SOURCE: heyjackass.com . If reading Heyjackass is not depressing enough then go to Youtube and search on ” The lost streets of Chicago – BBC News “. The gangs are nihilistic.

    • Cops are rarely charged for actions that would put an unbadged person behind bars. That is just a fact-of-life in a diverse urban environment.

  10. Finally! REAL justice! May he rot in prison! They have got to crack down hard on this kind of crime or these idiots will not be fazed at all!

    • REAL justice! Where the cop who actually shot an innocent person on their doorstep doesn’t even have to go to court. What a joyous day!

  11. Oh I hope this slimebag gets the whole 20 and more! I’m sure his pretty face will do well in prison. Unfortunately though I’m sure there’ll be some ACLU lawyer that will knock his sentence down to a 2 year probation. Mark my words. They never get the full sentence. I’m sure he has become a “good citizen” now and coupled with some minority discrimination BS everyone will overlook his 50 previous swatting attempts. Plus his guilty plea probably in itself carries a reduced sentence.

    • Oh I hope you would actually spend some time and learn about the federal criminal justice system rather than make broad based assumptions that you can provide no real foundation for other than say “Mark My Words” blah blah blah.

      • I Might Be Dennis

        Thank you. I am generally opposed to mandatory sentencing and long prison sentences, but in some instances a long prison stay is well deserved. In cases like this, I’m glad that the federal system operates the way it does.

  12. never heard of this before. people are sick. why don’t these young punk kids do something useful like get a job?

  13. The main stream media carried the details of the murder of Mr. Finch. Why aren’t they carrying the details of this guy’s confession and possible prison term. Maybe if they did carry the whole story, the situation might be better understood by the public and maybe occur less often.

  14. I am continually amazed how many commentators applaud the crime of sexual assaults in prisons. People, this could be your kid, put with general population before trial because he can’t afford bail and the local jails are full.

    • Tim, speak for yourself. That would never be my kid. She’s not a JD and would never swat anyone. She’s much more likely to be grief counseling the victim’s family and friends.

      • Your comment ignores that fact that there are some people in prison who are indeed innocent.
        The fact that your children are not JDs does not enter into it.

        Yes, *everyone* claims to be innocent.
        But some of them actually are, and some of those are sentenced to long prison terms.

        These cases do occasionally make the news.

        So this fact alone should give one pause before wishing for such barbaric pain to be inflicted on an individual, even one who is clearly guilty of a horrible crime

      • Yeah, I’m really not sure why people take the sort of childish glee they do with the idea that rape will solve whatever problem we’re discussing…

        …and this is for some reason perfectly okay and not-at-all-disturbing because the hoped-for violation occurs in a particular place: prison.

        I don’t get it.

  15. Many of these replies are depressing yet unsurprising.

    Harsh punishments do not deter crime, it’s is a myth that they do. What would 20 years in an American prison teach this man? He’s not likely to come out rehabilitated, but rather abused and perhaps more damaged than he went in.

    You can’t use the police to scare and kill people if they’re not prone to storming around and shooting people.

    And you only make your society less safe, less secure by continuing to allow them to do so, by continuing to accept the brutality of American prisons, and by continuing to believe the myth that harsh punishments deter crime.

    • [citation needed]

      I’m betting there are plenty of kids in their parents’ basements right now having second thoughts about swatting people…

      • Matty, I would certainly hope so — but that will only occur if their parents have been teaching them (from an early age by word and deed) the mantra “Don’t be stupid” rather than “Don’t get caught”.

        • Well, in some fairness, Bariss had no parents and was being brought up by grandparents… whom he had also thoroughly intimidated into acquiescence with bomb threats.

          Not sure this guy fits any of the societal models I’m hearing here.

    • MastersInCriminalJustice

      This sentence will serve two purposes. The primary one is to send the message that this behavior is not acceptable to the society. The second effect is that Mr. Tyler Barriss will find it more difficult to SWAT additional victims from his prison cell.

      Don’t do the crime if you can’t spend the time (in prison)

    • “Harsh punishments do not deter crime, it’s is a myth that they do.”
      It is not a myth.
      Let me describe an example.
      A couple of decades ago the young men who lived across from my house became involved in crime. Their buddies of similar ilk visited often.
      One time an argument broke out at that home. One of the visitors ran out, turned back and shouted “I will kill you and I will be out in six months”.

    • The justice system isn’t supposed to be so simplistic or black/white.

      Deterrence is only 1 out the 4 reasons for prison.
      And none of the four are expected to be 100% effective in their purpose.

      Rehabilitation does work in many cases. It may not work in every case, but it is hard to know if it would for a particular individual until it is tried.

      Justice for the victims is also part of the four. A world in which victims get no justice, is not a good and “just” world. It would result in vigilantism and other problems.

      Crime prevention, as mentioned, would be effective here, as it is harder (not impossible) to swat from prison. Just taking away his Xbox may prevent the childish motivator for swatting in this case.

      • The purpose of a justice system is to avoid further harms for the society as much as possible using reasonable, rational means. It is not to act as the Revenge Bureau for victims.

        What about all the future victims created by harsh policies which further break broken people. This isn’t atv show with comic caricatures of evil bad guys.

        Maybe try having less competition, less inequality, don’t put people you’ve tried to turn into cold hearted murderers (aka military vets) in law enforcement positions, free healthcare, an education system that doesn’t whitewash countless genocides and other atrocities, don’t let your kids develop in a toxic soup of man-made chemicals.

        Start there, and then maybe you can try locking humans up in cages so they can be assaulted and abused. Though people raised in a society like the one suggested will probably be unwilling to commit and tolerate such a barbaric act in the name of justice, unlike the broken, ignorant, and abused people that our current society creates.

        • “don’t put people you’ve tried to turn into cold hearted murderers (aka military vets) in law enforcement positions”

          So, I’m sure that you are going to provide us some study or report that proves your point of contention that “military vets” are the problem here. What are you Don Lemmon’s sister, proclaiming that the real terrorists are “white males”?

          Just so you know, I served 28 years in the military and met with few folks who I found questionable as to their ability to handle a weapon properly. My son is serving as an infantryman, having done 4 tours of combat spanning 48 months, and he hasn’t killed a non-combatant ever. SO maybe you just love making unsubstantiated statements for the crap you can stir up. I suggest next time, that you check your bias, or at least be able to substantiate your claims before posting them for all to wonder at your marvelous intellect.

          • You’re a fool if you think the military doesn’t want soldiers who can kill with no mercy. Boot camp itself is a way to demoralize and tear down a man until the Government can convince them to take the life of another with no remorse.

          • Since at least as far back as world war 2 the military realized they had a problem where too many soldiers were not shooting to kill. They’ve unfortunately made progress on those numbers since then but thankfully not nearly as much as they would hope. And one can not dispute that a goal of boot camp is not only to make you a more effective killer but to indoctrinate you into a certain way of seeing, thinking and increase your ability to otherize.

            Also note the word tried in that bit you quoted, not saying every soldier is a cold hearted murderer. Soldiers of the US military will fall on a continuum between cold hearted murderers an exploited ignorant victims. Note that “hero” ain’t gonna be anywhere on that continuum.

            It sounds like your son is on the victim end given the lack of murder and the fact that the wars he was forced to fight and risk death in are unjust and immoral. I am truly sorry that we as a society have failed him and put him in such position.

            But that said, I don’t think we can take the risk of giving him a gun and a domestic role where he might feel he can control others bodies (aka law enforcement). His training and exposure to warzone levels of stress make the risk to society too great. Plenty of other ways he can actually serve his community though. And he should certainly be helped, not abandoned like trash once we’ve used/ him to prop up the empire.

        • Dorothy, you seem to have an idealized notion of the justice system.
          Btw, “revenge” isn’t the same as “justice for victims”.
          And if you think it is… there isn’t much that will convince you otherwise.

          You also seem to be referencing something crime and punishment completely different than the facts of this case. Probably some unrelated personal anecdote. Since you don’t share those specifics, this makes your rant very much irrelevant here.

          • Nope no personal anectdote, just the only conclusion you can reach if you’ve had the privilege to step outside the worldview forced upon you by the quite capable USA propaganda system.

            And the ideal is precisely the standard you judge against, though again, you will need to step outside the propaganda. Given the horrors the US elite inflict domestically and internationally it is quite obvious why the default standard to judge against is not the ideal but often some of the worst examples that can be found.

            Revenge is locking someone in a cage for 20+ years, it’s locking them up for far less than that too. Our war criminal politicians with the blood of millions on their hands getting locked up for that long would also be revenge. There’s no reasonable argument where you can call such acts justice.

            But keep embracing the failed logic. You’ll keep making the poor kill the poor while a wealthy minority benefit, creating more and more victims and unimaginable amounts of needless suffering.

            • Dorothy, we are talking about a guy who has shown zero remorse for his crimes, and even threatened to swat again while in prison awaiting trial. IMHO, this is the very definition of someone who needs to be locked up.

              • Brian,
                I agree 100%!

                • KoSReader6000000

                  I agree with Larry and Brian Krebs.

                  As many posters have noted this could be very complex case. As I recall Tyler Raj Barriss was convicted in 20 other swatting and bomb threat cases and served time in Los Angeles County Jail with help from the FBI and LA police. Barriss may even be on parole or other court orders at the time of the fatal swatting of unarmed civilian Finch.

                  Further complicating issue involves jurisdiction. The mother of the deceased victim Finch is suing the Kansas city police; wants the return of Finch’s body, the family’s front door, a computer, two cell phones, a video game and other items according to NBC’s story titled “Family of ‘swatting’ victim wants Kansas officer who fired fatal shot charged” which can be seen on the web.

                  Thus, criminaly charging of police officer Rapp who fired the shot from his AR-15 could complicate the prosecution of Barriss and tie the court system in knots for years.

                  I do feel sorry for the Family of the victim Finch because the family was handcuffed and taken into custody and questions. This whole case could end up as a huge legal SNAFU for the justice system and the technology of 911.

                  I don’t have all of the facts and some actions don’t add up such as was 911 called or just a regular phone number. “Using voice over IP through the free wifi provided by a South Los Angeles library, Barriss called the Wichita police department. Because the call was transferred from Wichita City Hall to 911, the dispatcher believed the call was coming from the Wichita area.”-wikipedia.

                  Was Bariss on parole? We will have to wait and see what facts come out.

                  • From what was reported earlier, I believe the swatter called a non-emergency number at town hall, which was transferred to police dispatchers. So the police dispatcher had no way to verify where the call originated, because the caller ID came up as town hall.

                    Instead of questioning the validity of the call and sending a single officer to investigate a suspicious person/prank call, he/she sent the Wichita armada, amping the situation from curious to nuclear.

              • The crime committed by the man referenced is false police report, all other harms were caused by violent law enforcement. 20+ years is insane and immoral, especially considering the ACTUAL murderer won’t be effected at all.

                You can’t use armed thugs as part of a prank if your society doesn’t have armed thugs willing to believe anything they’re told because years of propaganda (in large part a result of war in drugs) that equates their communities with warzones and the idea they’re so unlikely to come home safe each night.

                If you can’t get someone to understand false police reports are bad in less than 12-18 months then either your rehabilitation program is poorly implemented or your society structure and policies might be the problem.

                • So by that reasoning Barriss would be no more culpable for the death of Mr. Finch had he hired a hitman on the Internet to kill him, right?

                  • No, you idiot. There is no intent to kill someone while swatting. 20 years plus is insane for this. In my country (Norway) the max sentence is 21 years. Here you would get probation for this and be rehabilitated, but then again nobody would get killed here also.

                    You have to remember brother that in 20 years this guy is gonna be your neighbor. You better treat him right in prison or he’s going to become a hardened criminal and effect oyu down the line. This applies to all the millions of prisoners in US.

        • @Dorothy:

          Your broad characterization of military vets as “cold hearted murderers” has no basis in fact and I won’t let it pass unchallenged.

          Service members have a variety of experiences and current operational tempos for forces deployed in combat do cause serious problems for some. That is no cause to harshly label tens of thousands of honorable men and women as “cold hearted murderers”.

          Please educate yourself on the contributions veterans make everyday and what you might do to be far less ignorant on the subject.

    • “Harsh punishments do not deter crime”

      Prove it.

      I disagree strongly, but if you have some type of data to back this up, I’m willing to listen.

      • Crime is a symptom of problem(s) not THE problem. You can threaten a kid with a beating (and follow through) if they sneeze or sniffle but that’s not really going to stop them from doing it.

        Crime is a result of the issues I highlight in my original post. And much more than I listed. You stop the sneezing by curing the illness, not demonizing the symptoms. Or better yet you prevent the illness in the first place.

        Not evidence? Well you’re sitting in front of or holding a device with access to more information than any previous generation could have dreamed of. Get out there and explore, it’s a far more interesting, fascinating, complex, horrific world out there than the propagandists would like you to believe.

        • What “problem” is that?

        • So I don’t usually post comments on websites like this nor do I ever actually reply to them, however… I felt compelled to point out and also question you about a comment that you happened to make. I stumbled upon this comment of yours by random as I was scrolling to the bottom of the screen and really wondered… You mention in one of your posts that “You can threaten a kid with a beating (and follow through) if they sneeze or sniffle but that’s not really going to stop them from doing it.” Are you really to say that if I actually threatened a “kid” and followed through with the threat by beating him every single time that he sneezed..???? I’m here to let you know that you can bet your ass that the kid would figure out how to hold in a damn sneeze in my presence and it would never happen again… Anyways….

  16. During her stint as Secretary of State under Bill Clinton, Madeleine Albright–unsated by all the bloodshed inflicted by the US on the Balkans and Iraq–infamously asked what the point was in having our huge military if we didn’t use it.

    I suspect a smiliar mindset is present among many police departments and officers: heavily armed, as they are, with military surplus armor and weaponry. I further submit that they pose a far greater threat to innocent citizens than “swatters.” The latter would gain no traction were it not for the rash eagerness of some police to attack based on a bogus 911 call before sufficient facts were in.

    Before anyone starts on me, I am writing specifically in reference to “swatting” attempts, not mass shootings already in progress.

    • Thank you for addressing the root cause of the problem.

    • This is the part of the story that often gets overlooked. I do think what this guy did was atrocious, but why the hell is it possible to send a small army to someone’s house with just a phone call? Also why does every police department, no matter how big or small, need to be armed to the teeth? If someone really has it out for someone else, they don’t need to hire a hitman or get their own hands dirty, they just need to pick up the phone and call the police and they’ll do it for them. It seems utterly insane to me.

  17. The moron should get 40+ years. What an utter waste of space he is.

  18. Cops are ruthhless in usa.
    Cops will beat you up for no reason.
    They will shoot for no reason.
    Cops killing and shooting everyday in usa.
    Thts reality there in usa

  19. I respect those guys who commit crime for profit.
    But i dont respect those who do it just coz they are mentally not right. If you commit crime then at least make money.
    Save the money and invest become successful business men.
    But dont commit stupid silly crime if aint money invomved..
    Thts real talk homies

  20. While this sentence is quite long for swatting, I don’t this will change anything. None of these guys believe they can be caught so they don’t care about sentences. This is just a waste of US Tax payer $.

  21. Regarding the problem with police procedures, nobody’s quite hitting the nail on the head:

    A SWAT team all pointing their guns like Nakatomi Plaza is a very dangerous situation, it pushes the margin for error to almost zero.

    Why did police department policy allow this dangerous situation to coalesce on the strength of a completely unverified call?

  22. This is nothing to be pleased about. This guys are going to serve a severly harsh penalty while the police officer that shot and killed an unarmed and completely innocent person gets nothing and walks away justified legally as this is “the prankster fault”.

    Smells like the DA and judicial system just tries to shift the blame of a perfect example of the total and complete incompetence that is ravaging many US police departments towards third parties looking for a scapegoat instead of dealing with the real issue, a completely incompetent police.

    A SWAT team is a special team, as the name itself implies, and therefore has to act in a special way. They pack more gear than a regular policeman precisely because they have more training and expertise and therefore are more trustable to use that special gear and weaponry. Therefore I, as a citizen, expect more from them. If in my town there is a hostage situation or a delicate situation and what my police department does is sending 20 deputy droop-a-long that are always in fear of their life and they only create more harm, well, I would rather save all those tax payer dollars and create a citizen patrol that will be equally untrained. Not even to mention the millions on tax payer dollars that will cost the civil lawsuit that the family will for sure win.

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