Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Maybe some restraint is in order

With using overwhelming force based on a phone call.
They were victims of a new kind of telephone fraud that exploits a weakness in the way the 911 system handles calls from Internet-based phone services. The attacks — called "swatting" because armed police SWAT teams usually respond — are virtually unstoppable, and an Associated Press investigation found that budget-strapped 911 centers are essentially defenseless without an overhaul of their computer systems.
I understand that someone's life could actually be on the line, but SWAT teams are deployed with little hesitation these days; often times unjustifiably so.

But of all of the things in this article, none bothered me as much as this:
Tony Messina, a construction worker from Salina, N.Y., was swatted three times by the gang broken up by the federal authorities in Dallas. He was even arrested as the result of one call, because authorities found weapons he wasn't supposed to have while they were searching the house.
How could they screw that up three times? And he gets victimized twice because they take his guns away? I don't understand how the police didn't take note of the fact that it was a hoax the first time, and then exercise a little caution two weeks later, then a month later when they got a call. Are patrol officers not competent enough to check the place out before sending in a CTU Tac Team? Maybe they were interested in helping themselves to more of his Constitutionally protected property?

This guy got jacked up on the third raid:
Messina had been told to call 911 himself if the swatting calls happened again, and when the deputies realized it was another fraudulent call, Messina was let go. He said he suffered bruised ribs that kept him out of work for a month and a half.
"Ummm, okaaay Sir. . .next time just try calling 911 if this happens again. . . .we have no way of keeping track of what doors we bust down. . . .mmmkay?"

Seriously? If the 911 system is so "powerless" to stop these attacks, then we need to really buckle down of the use of aggressive tactics:
"Nobody ever thought anyone would get hurt or die from a SWAT call," he said.

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