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Seattle police roll out a 'registry' that allows 'swatting' targets to better protect...

By Polycount · 49 replies
Oct 2, 2018
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  1. Although choosing to livestream video games for a living doesn't necessarily carry the same risks as being a police officer or firefighter, that doesn't mean it can't be dangerous.

    As we've seen time and time again, the internet can be a ruthless place at times; that was made evident in December when 25-year-old Tyler Bariss allegedly "swatted" a fellow Call of Duty player. Bariss reportedly called the police and claimed said player had killed his father and was about to kill the rest of his family.

    Unfortunately, the address -- which was in Wichita, Kansas -- given to Tyler was not his opponent's, but an innocent civilian's. When the SWAT team arrived at the individual's home, one team member shot and killed 28-year-old Andy Finch, who was merely opening the door after allegedly hearing noises outside.

    Though Bariss has since been arrested and charged with manslaughter, police in Seattle are looking for a more future-proof solution.

    In a blog post published recently, the city's Chief of Police, Carmen Best, announced that her department has launched a "registry" that allows prominent gamers to list themselves as potential swatting targets.

    In theory, this would allow officers responding to a hoax call to tailor their response appropriately. Instead of going in under the assumption that a streamer is actually a domestic terrorist, they might be a bit more skeptical and practice restraint.

    This is certainly great news for Seattle-based streamers, gamers, and other internet personalities, but only time will tell how well the new registry will work in practice.

    Permalink to story.

    Last edited: Oct 2, 2018
  2. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,129   +1,635

    They should also increase the penalties for swatting. Minimum 10 years jail time in the general population, no parole, plus pay the costs of the police and/or fire response.

    All it will take is one or two examples using those penalties, and swatting will be over.
    jackal2687, EEatGDL and Reehahs like this.
  3. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Posts: 8,878   +620

  4. Reehahs

    Reehahs TS Guru Posts: 729   +472

    They could also force the life time earnings of the swatter to provide for the family if swatting resulted in death like above.
  5. SalaSSin

    SalaSSin TS Booster Posts: 161   +83

    No one commenting on the fact that police shot an innocent person just because someone said something?

    Police try that **** where I come from, not only the swatter's in jail, but the policeman who shot the innocent person is sitting in the same cell, for the same amount of time.
  6. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,129   +1,635

    Police would have never been there in the first place if it hadn't been for this simpleton doing a swat. That's why he needs to spend the rest of his life in jail. And they were told there'd been a murder, the gunman was still there with a gun and was going to kill more people. It's tragic what happened, but if I were a cop approaching a house with that knowledge, I couldn't guarantee not shooting either depending on what happened at the door.

    You talk as if the cops just walked up and plugged someone for kicks.
    Reehahs, m4a4 and Hexic like this.
  7. Polycount

    Polycount TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,837   +403

    Thank you, I've updated the article to reflect this. I incorrectly assumed the blog post was published today, but it seems it was either yesterday or over the weekend (I can't seem to find a timestamp on the official post).
    Reehahs likes this.
  8. Somehow seems wrong when you are the innocent party and have to register with the police
    Reehahs and Stark like this.
  9. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Posts: 8,878   +620

    Please don''t be too concerned, as long as its posted. Have a great day :)
    Polycount likes this.
  10. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,512   +5,076

    How about knocking on the door. And then allowing the person to come out, before sticking a gun in their face.

    This register is BS and will solve nothing.
  11. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Posts: 8,878   +620

    Ok, what happens when you open the door & you get blasted with multiple gunshots?
  12. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,512   +5,076

    When they pull the trigger on someone innocent, that is exactly how I see it.
    SalaSSin likes this.
  13. Danny101

    Danny101 TS Guru Posts: 821   +324

    Police should also respond to the caller's address at the same time. That might instigate a confession before something bad happens.
    Reehahs and EndRessentiment like this.
  14. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,473   +1,046

    So, you've been told that the guy in the house has a gun and is trigger happy, and you want to let that person make the first move by politely knocking on the door? What bull**** logic is that?
    Why don't you become a cop if it's so easy to make such decisions under such dire circumstances? Seriously, what's with the "I'm better than you" logic when it comes to the cop making a mistake?

    You had might as well be telling us that the athletes at the Olympics are doing it wrong and that you can do it better.
    Reehahs likes this.
  15. The dude simply opened the door and was killed. He had a better chance of living if he resisted.

    I wouldn't call it a mistake when the mantra of LEOs seems to be, "shoot first, ask questions later."
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  16. Capaill

    Capaill TS Evangelist Posts: 919   +508

    A registry wouldn't have helped this victim because he wasn't a gamer.
    senketsu likes this.
  17. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,473   +1,046

    Again, the situation that the cops were told dictated that it's kill or be killed. They didn't know the guy was innocent when he went to go check on what the noise was out front...

    The focus should be on the disrespectful kids who think swatting is "funny".
  18. If SWAT rolled up and the person was in their doorway figuring out what the noise was outside, how are they a threat? If people opened their doors when SWAT arrived, that would save a lot of busted down doors.

    I understand that it is a stressful situation to be in, but repeated slaughtering of innocent people needs to stop.
    SalaSSin likes this.
  19. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,473   +1,046

    They didn't know what he was capable of or what he was going to do. And it sounds like he opened the door when they were close (I don't know if he did anything suspicious, but it triggered one of the cops).
    Apply some logic to the situation. If the cops were bulletproof, I'm sure they'd have the luxury of thinking things through. But they couldn't in this situation.

    Again, they wouldn't have been in the dire situation if the idi0t didn't call in the first place.
  20. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,512   +5,076

    They never do know. The mistake was lead by misinformation. That should never be the case. If there is no proof the knock on the door should be done with reasonable doubt. You know the famous quote "innocent until proven guilty". Don't tell me that is only relevant inside a court room. In fact being arrested before being judged violates that statement already. Getting shot goes even farther against the violation.

    Anyone not wearing a badge would at the very least get man slaughter charges. I don't see wearing a badge giving a free pass. That is too much power period.
    SalaSSin likes this.
  21. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,473   +1,046

    When it comes down to kill or be killed, you don't let you or your squad get hurt/killed. Innocent until proven guilty would be nice if the cops lives weren't on the line (but again, they didn't know they weren't at risk because of an idi0t's prank call).

    And this just tells me that you do not understand. Sure, there are some cops that shouldn't wear the badge, but considering the stresses cops undertake (and the undesirable situations they handle), people like you don't help with your naïve assumptions.

    I can't tell if you watch too much negativity on the news (focusing on the bad cops), or you truly believe the job is easy (and that split-second decisions can be made over a cup of coffee).
  22. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,512   +5,076

    I do understand. They were not qualified and someone innocent was killed. End of story.
  23. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,473   +1,046

    They were not qualified what? That part of the sentence either has no context or doesn't make sense.
  24. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,512   +5,076

    No what doesn't make sense is this:
    1. Barging in when there is no information about the possible dangers. This shows lack of investigation and carelessness.
    2. Barging in and expecting your suspect to remain calm as if they were not startled. This is just plain arrogance.
    3. Using lethal rounds close range period. This is execution without trial.
    4. Most of all barging in gins waving, without giving the suspect the opportunity to walk out or voluntarily surrender. Lack of patience is a big issue with authority.
    5. And even if the allegations were true, shooting an unarmed person is definitely evidence of lack of training.
    Police that can not control their firearm are just as criminal as anyone else, if they don't show responsible. This registry that is being brought to the table will not solve bad police training and tactics.
  25. Danny101

    Danny101 TS Guru Posts: 821   +324

    The penalty for filing a false report must be severe enough to dissuade. At the same time, part of the police's job is investigation. As urgent as a report sounds, an investigation has to occur. You can't just go in guns blazing. Having a defensive posture? Yes. That's why they have bullhorns. I have all the respect in the world for the police, but because they are the police, I expect them to be the best trained for these kind of situations. I still don't expect them to be mind readers and suspects who act in a threatening manner bear the responsibility for getting themselves shot. Police need good behavioral prediction skills that generally only the veterans seem to have. Notice it tends to be the rookies that mess up. Pairing them with veterans is a start.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2018
    cliffordcooley likes this.

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