Republican Rep. Tom Emmer has said he is the latest victim in a long string of political figures being swatted.
Swatting is the act of calling in a fake police report, usually about a violent crime, to a person’s home or business — prompting a heavy police response.
Approximately 30 politicians, journalists, and other political figures have swatted in America since November.
“Tonight my family and I were the target of a ‘swatting’ incident involving a 911 prank call that wrongly diverted a police presence to my home,” Rep. Emmer said in a post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “Sadly, this illegal and dangerous scheme is being used nationwide to target elected officials.”
Thankfully, no one was home or injured. I condemn this illegal abuse of police resources.
I want to thank the Wright County Sheriff’s Office for their professionalism and support.
I will have no additional comment on this matter.
— Tom Emmer (@GOPMajorityWhip) January 28, 2024
The Minnesota politician continued, “Thankfully, no one was home or injured. I condemn this illegal abuse of police resources. I want to thank the Wright County Sheriff’s Office for their professionalism and support. I will have no additional comment on this matter.”
Dozens of swatting incidents have happened in recent months, with one even being called in to the White House.
On Saturday, it was reported that neoconservative presidential candidate Nikki Haley was the victim of a swatting on December 30.
The caller had claimed that he shot his girlfriend and was preparing to shoot himself at Haley’s $2.4 million waterfront estate on Kiawah Island, South Carolina.
Leftist billionaire George Soros was swatted earlier this month. George Washington University legal scholar Jonathan Turley’s Virginia home was swatted days before.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Republican Georgia State Sens. John Albers, Kay Kirkpatrick and Clint Dixon, Democrat Kim Jackson, and New York GOP Rep. Brandon Williams were all reportedly swatted on Christmas.
Georgia Lt. Gov. Burt Jones, Rep. Rick Scott, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, and Rep. Kevin Miller are among the other swatting victims.
Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows was swatted after she removed former President Donald Trump from the state’s primary ballot.
No suspects have been named in any of the incidents. It remains unclear if it is being done by one person, or many.
In 2017, a fake police report was called to the home of a man named Andrew Finch in Wichita, Kansas. The swatter had claimed that he had shot his father to death and was holding the rest of his family hostage.
Finch was unarmed and on his porch when he was shot by a police officer who believed that he was reaching for a gun.
The false report had been called in by serial swatter Tyler Barriss, who pleaded guilty to 51 charges of swatting in 2019 — including one count of making a false report resulting in a death.
Barriss was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2019 under a plea agreement.
The Hill reports, “Sens. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) and Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) unveiled a bill earlier this month aimed at increasing the penalties for swatting incidents. Scott, himself, was a swatting victim last month.”
“Scott said the bill would ensure the ‘cowards’ behind these swatting calls ‘face serious consequences.’”
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