Patterico's Pontifications

4/6/2013

SWATting on Selena Gomez

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:08 am

In the fourth celebrity SWATting in three days, Selena Gomez was the victim of an (attempted) SWATting yesterday, just after the same thing had happened to Justin Timberlake:

At 3:15 p.m. Friday, officers responded to a call of shots fired at Timberlake’s Hollywood Hills home but found nothing unusual, said LAPD spokeswoman Norma Eisenman.

Less than two hours later, police were sent to Gomez’s home in Sherman Oaks after a caller reported “someone had been killed inside the residence and there was a threat to burn the home down,” said Det. Gus Villanueva. The report was false, Villanueva said.

And now, for the traditional (incomplete) roll call of those SWATted: Selena Gomez; Justin Timberlake; Rihanna; Sean Combs; Chris Brown; Tom Cruise; Paris Hilton; Clint Eastwood; Brian Krebs; the Jenners and Kardashians; Justin Bieber; Miley Cyrus; Ashton Kutcher; Simon Cowell; Aaron Walker; Erick Erickson; Mike Stack; and me.

Please remember: celebrities are the ones who count. The L.A. Times says:

Law enforcement officials said they are becoming increasingly irritated by the crank calls, which they say divert resources from responding to real crimes.

. . . .

The increasing number of such incidents targeting celebrities has California lawmakers considering implementing harsher penalties for such crimes.

In my case, the call was made at 12:16 a.m. on a weeknight, when I was certain to be home, and police officers pointed guns at me at my front door. In virtually every case involving a celebrity, the “SWATting” happened during the day and the celebrity was not home. Yet those are the cases that get all the attention, because, you know, celebrities.

UPDATE: I read a report somewhere that claimed Gomez was not home, but the Toronto Sun says she and her mom were home. I have corrected the headline and post (by removing the word “attempted”) to reflect that this was a true SWATTing.

11 Responses to “SWATting on Selena Gomez”

  1. Interesting the comment you made about these swatting calls being made on celebrities during the day. The object may be to fix swatting in the minds of the public as some sort of prank; by making the bogus calls at an hour when the celebrity is liable not to be there. Consider if the calls were made at night, when the police are liable to find the celebrity engaged in any number of illegal activities. Smoking dope, for example. And of course considering the celebrities who have been involved in shootings, the police are liable to take a night call far more seriously.

    Mike Giles (f2cb9e)

  2. the pigs dance for the elite leet leet leet leet

    dance piggy dance

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  3. These pranksters are going about this all wrong. You want to anonymously report drugs in the house, maybe say you bought some drugs from the resident.

    That way, the cops don’t even knock. They just kick in the door, guns blazing.

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: the problem isn’t a$$hats making prank calls, the problem is an all too anxious swat team that’s been given too much power.

    Whatever happened to investigation? Ya know, figuring shlt out before sending in the swat? What did that used to be called? Oh yeah. Police work.

    Ghost (2d8874)

  4. See the update. The Toronto Sun says Gomez was home.

    Did police point guns at her? Inquiring minds want to know.

    Patterico (fd63f7)

  5. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: the problem isn’t a$$hats making prank calls, the problem is an all too anxious swat team that’s been given too much power.

    No, the problem is the people making the calls. You want police not to respond to an emergency??

    Patterico (fd63f7)

  6. which they say divert resources from responding to real crimes

    You know, like shooting up the wrong vehicle at 5am while on a manhunt for a killer cop

    Smock Puppet, 10th Dan Snark Master and Gender Bïgǒt (98ae1f)

  7. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: the problem isn’t a$$hats making prank calls, the problem is an all too anxious swat team that’s been given too much power.

    No, the problem is the people making the calls. You want police not to respond to an emergency??

    I think it’s some of both, sirrah. Cops responded to this kind of event long before there were SWAT teams, and places without SWAT teams regularly respond to them likewise.

    Cops need to be cautious in such situations but coming in like Darth Stormtooper is more likely to kill innocents AND cops than the DS approach is to prevent a cop getting shot by a bad guy.

    Sooner or later — and it’s probably already happened — one of these events is going to get an innocent shot by an overeager cop (like the assholes out in LA with the wrong truck) or have a civilian shoot a cop who has just wrongfully invaded his home, then be shot and killed by the cop’s partners.

    Smock Puppet, 10th Dan Snark Master and Gender Bïgǒt (98ae1f)

  8. “Sooner or later — and it’s probably already happened — one of these events is going to get an innocent shot by an overeager cop (like the assholes out in LA with the wrong truck”…

    And the cop will get away with it, no questions asked. Sovereign immunity and all that sort of thing.

    “…or have a civilian shoot a cop who has just wrongfully invaded his home, then be shot and killed by the cop’s partners.”

    Please see: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/25/jose-guerena-arizona-_n_867020.html

    And if you need it from a non-leftist publication:
    http://reason.com/blog/2011/05/16/marine-survives-two-tours-in-i

    If law enforcement will pin a medal on a sniper for killing a man’s wife and child, what makes you think they will answer to a botched home invasion? (see Horiuchi, Lon in the search engine of your choice)

    Celebrate Homogeneity (65111e)

  9. No, the problem is the people making the calls. You want police not to respond to an emergency??

    Police can respond to emergencies without bringing in a militarized “police.” Send in 4 or 5 patrol units to assess the situation, ya know, investigate like I said before.

    I know the a-holes making the calls are a problem, but at least you got a knock on your door. If your swatter had claimed that you were growing weed, they would have been more likely to just kick in your door, a tactic which has led to more civilian and officer deaths than any of these swattings so far.

    If swat were only used in cases like this, I would be right there with you saying that the a-holes abusing the system are the only problem. I know you and Radley Balko aren’t the greatest of friends, but read any of the “Raid of the Day”s he’s been posting since January 1st. Far too many of them are based on anonymous or paid informants, and far too many of them involve swat teams killing innocent people (in one case, a cop shot a mother in the neck while she kneeled on the floor in front of him, begging him not to hurt her kids).

    So let me rephrase: the pranking a$$es ARE a problem, and they need to be caught and dealt with. But the bigger problem to me is a militarized police force whose only concern is “officer safety.” Like snark master mentioned about the cops who unloaded on the unarmed paper ladies in LA while hunting a cop killer; have any of those cops (preferably the one who shot first) been fired? No. Why not? Because “officer safety” takes precedence over us mere mundanes right to travel unmolested. That’s a problem.

    Ghost (2d8874)

  10. If law enforcement will pin a medal on a sniper for killing a man’s wife and child, what makes you think they will answer to a botched home invasion? (see Horiuchi, Lon in the search engine of your choice)

    Psh, I don’t know what you’re talking about. They answer to botched raids all the time. “Officers followed procedure,” “the protocols were followed,” (and my personal favorite) “we needed the element of surprise/they should’ve known we were cops.”

    Ghost (2d8874)

  11. Just out of curiosity; do the police actually check who resides at an address before they kick in the door? I’m surprised that some informant hasn’t given them the name of a fellow police officer or other law enforcement officer. Especially considering that officers don’t always live in their own jurisdiction. What happens when one officer shoots another? Does it occur to them, for example, that a drug dealer might give them the address of a DEA agent he’s had run ins with?

    Mike Giles (f2cb9e)


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