Swatting is the disturbing practice of calling in an anonymous police report in order to trigger a SWAT response to a person’s home. It’s been in the news more and more recently, with a number of prominent feminists in the tech industry being targeted in particular. In New Jersey, one legislator set out to try to do something about it, only to become a target himself.
After a false phone tip about a crime drew 30 police officers to an innocent man’s home in southern New Jersey in October, state legislator Paul Moriarty stated his intent to pass a law that specifically punished the “sick and disturbing” act of “swatting.” That bill hasn’t yet been passed, but its loudest proponent got another reason to get to work when he himself became the victim of a swatting attempt.
According to a report by NJ.com, Moriarty received a phone call at his home on Saturday from a police officer asking if everything was okay; the assemblyman was then informed that someone had anonymously called in a report of a shooting at the home. He was then told to describe his clothing and step outside, where he saw a crowd of officers armed with “helmets, flak jackets and rifles.”
— Sam Machkovech, NJ legislator who sponsored anti-swatting bill gets swatted
Remember, swatting is not a prank. It’s attempted murder-by-cop.