So here’s what’s been on my mind of late:
Y’all have probably heard about the recent “swatting” incident in Wichita, dude called in a false crime in process, SWAT showed up, and killed Andrew Finch, a totally innocent man, shooting him dead when he answered the door, with no clue what was going on. Well, ends up, they arrested the guy who made the false call to 911. And of course, the cops are blaming HIM—rather than the cop who actually pulled the trigger—for the murder.
Now rewind back to January 2016, when Daniel Shaver, a traveling pest-control worker, was staying at a hotel, and was in his room showing another guest the pellet gun that he used for pigeons and stuff on his job. Someone outside by the pool and/or hot tub looked up and saw him through the window pointing the gun in the air and reported it to the front desk, prompting them to call 911, and SWAT showed up and killed Shaver. You remember the incident—the body cam video shows Shaver crawling on his hands and knees, sobbing, begging the cop not to shoot him, trying to comply with a series of random, nonsensical commands from the cop, and when his shorts began to inch down as he crawled, he reached back to yank them up—and the cop plugged him five times, killing him instantly (claimed he thought he was reaching for his gun—even though the report stated a rifle, which he obviously didn’t have concealed in his shorts). The cop was later acquitted—and even said he’d do the same thing again, if faced with the same circumstances.
But in THAT case, I’ve not heard any news of the guy making the false call to 911 being arrested…
Should people making premature, uninformed or false calls to 911, which result in innocent people being killed, be held accountable? Yes, ultimately the responsibility lies with the cops who commit the murders—anyone who’s followed me for any length of time knows my position on this—but is there anything that can be done to curtail nosy busybodies from making such asinine calls in the first place?
It just seems to me there should be some level of liability for anyone calling armed government enforcers to someone’s property other than their own, especially when doing so results in the injury or death of innocents, or destruction of their property.
And as I’ve already stated, yes, it’s ultimately the responsibility of the errant cops—but I believe any chance there may have been in the past of curtailing, halting, or reversing the current trend toward a militarized, authoritarian police state are long gone, and society is now in the throes of collapse/revolution (my oft-stated hope for a peaceful, technological revolution/transition notwithstanding).
And, as an Autarchist, I believe that security and policing should be privatized anyway, along with all other “services” the state supposedly provides. But again, that’s a whole-nother discussion. (And, BTW, I’ve also long held that restitution to victims, not incarceration of the perp(s), would be a much more meaningful and effective (not to mention less costly) means of criminal punishment).
But back to the irresponsible (if not malicious) 911 callers: if liability for such callers can’t be implemented legally, perhaps social shaming would be in order; if the photos, names, and contact info of the cops doing the killing can be circulated online, then perhaps the same can be done with the idiots making the irresponsible calls as well. Give people pause before they just call in the local paramilitary over something that’s none of their business, or that they don’t understand, or haven’t adequately assessed.
Perhaps then, calls to 911 would be greatly reduced to actual, bona fide emergencies.
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