#BrettKimberlin: 85 GOP members of the US House sign letter urging DOJ to investigate SWAT-tings

Awesome news via the Washington Times’ Kerry Picket:

Congresswoman Sandy Adams, Florida Republican, is sending a letter, currently signed by 85 House Republicans, to Attorney General Eric Holder urging him to assign Justice Department officials to investigate the recent threat of “SWAT-tings.” (Scroll further down for letter in bold)

A SWAT-ting happens when a person calls 911 emergency dispatch services under another individual’s name and falsely claims he or she is committing a violent crime. Such an act is committed to cause local law enforcement authorities (like a SWAT team) to surround and enter the residence of an innocent individual, who was impersonated and framed for a violent crime through the 911 call. The false call can be made via the internet, so as to mask the true caller’s identity and location.

“My concern is someone is going to get hurt,” Rep. Adams told me on Friday. “It’s very dangerous for the people living in the home that didn’t call 911, because have no awareness whatsoever that something like that had happened. So they open the door to law enforcement whether it’s with or without guns drawn,” said Congresswoman Adams

“It’s a danger to the law enforcement agency that is being sent there, and it’s also a danger to the people in the community, because you’re pulling people away from what could be a real emergency.”

Congresswoman Adams is a first term Capitol Hill lawmaker and has a military and law enforcement background. Following her time in the Air Force, she served for seventeen years as a deputy sheriff in the Orange County, Florida.

“We were dispatched from 911 calls where there were shots fired and holding of a hostage. Those were the things that you went to and you’re going to want to know that,” she said.

The SWAT-ting issue caught the Florida Congresswoman’s attention when she heard that CNN contributor and Red State blogger Erick Erickson was a victim of swat in late May. Another blogger who was SWAT-ted, Patrick Frey, a Los Angeles assistant district attorney, went through the terrifying experience in July of 2011.

“Bloggers shouldn’t be targeted for exercising their first amendment right. It isn’t right these folks are being subjected to swat-ting,” said Lisa Boothe, Rep. Adams’s press secretary, who pointed out that the Florida GOP’er wants to protect first amendment rights on this issue as well.

“Years ago, when someone dialed 911 from a hard line, you could figure out where it was coming from. With mobile lines you can pretty much tell where it’s from, but when you have a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP), it’s apparently making it a lot harder to do this,” said Adams.

House members on the letter to AG Holder join Senator Saxby Chambliss, Georgia Republican, and Rep. Kenny Marchant, Texas Republican, who previously called on the attorney general to investigate the recent spate of Swat-tings.

Read the whole thing, and make sure to check the bottom of the article for both the content of the letter to the DOJ and the full list of GOP Congressmen and Congresswomen who have signed on to the letter so far.  Glad to see four from the NC GOP delegation on the list (Myrick [NC9], Ellmers [NC2], McHenry [NC10], Jones [NC3]) – hopefully Virginia Foxx (NC4) and Howard Coble (NC6) will add their names as well.

That sunlight just keeps getting brighter and brighter. Awesome. :)

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