Prank SWAT Call May Have Led to Wichita Police Killing a Random Man on His Own Doorstep

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Prank SWAT Call May Have Led to Wichita Police Killing a Random Man on His Own Doorstep

Post by Aresen » 29 Dec 2017, 16:52

Last Friday Nutpunch of the Year
Thursday night, Wichita, Kansas, Police sent out a SWAT team to respond to a 911 call that a man shot his father and was holding his family hostage in their home.

The telephone call was a lie. There was no hostage situation—but nevertheless a man at the home ended up dead, shot and killed by a police officer at his own front door.

Police right now are being tight-lipped about what actually happened at the home of the dead man, identified by relatives as Andrew Finch, 28, as the circumstances are still under investigation. Police did say they don't believe Finch fired on police officers before they shot him, according to the Wichita Eagle. His family says he was not armed.
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Re: Prank SWAT Call May Have Led to Wichita Police Killing a Random Man on His Own Doorstep

Post by Jennifer » 29 Dec 2017, 17:37

And the cop'll probably get off the hook because he was "afraid," and that's all it takes.
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Re: Prank SWAT Call May Have Led to Wichita Police Killing a Random Man on His Own Doorstep

Post by Jennifer » 29 Dec 2017, 17:47

I read a more detailed account on the Kansas City paper; apparently they know who made the call, and before his twitter account was suspended last night he pretty much tweeted an admission.
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Re: Prank SWAT Call May Have Led to Wichita Police Killing a Random Man on His Own Doorstep

Post by Aresen » 29 Dec 2017, 18:08

Jennifer wrote:
29 Dec 2017, 17:47
I read a more detailed account on the Kansas City paper; apparently they know who made the call, and before his twitter account was suspended last night he pretty much tweeted an admission.
So the cops have someone to hang it on and the devil take their own negligence. Business as usual.
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Re: Prank SWAT Call May Have Led to Wichita Police Killing a Random Man on His Own Doorstep

Post by Ellie » 30 Dec 2017, 12:24

Aresen wrote:
29 Dec 2017, 18:08
Jennifer wrote:
29 Dec 2017, 17:47
I read a more detailed account on the Kansas City paper; apparently they know who made the call, and before his twitter account was suspended last night he pretty much tweeted an admission.
So the cops have someone to hang it on and the devil take their own negligence. Business as usual.
That's unfortunately the interpretation I've seen from friends on Facebook. The gaming community is at fault, and needs scrutiny and reform; the cops were just doing their jobs.

barfffff.
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Re: Prank SWAT Call May Have Led to Wichita Police Killing a Random Man on His Own Doorstep

Post by Highway » 30 Dec 2017, 12:52

And just to add more assholery to this situation, it may have been sparked by a Call of Duty argument, where one shithead gave a fake address to another shithead, who called the cops to the fake address, where they just killed some completely innocent guy not even known to either of the gamer shitheads. Included is this gem of deflection from the shithead accused of calling the cops:
“I DIDNT GET ANYONE KILLED BECAUSE I DIDNT DISCHARGE A WEAPON AND BEING A SWAT MEMBER ISNT MY PROFESSION”
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Re: Prank SWAT Call May Have Led to Wichita Police Killing a Random Man on His Own Doorstep

Post by Warren » 30 Dec 2017, 13:26

Highway wrote:
30 Dec 2017, 12:52
And just to add more assholery to this situation, it may have been sparked by a Call of Duty argument, where one shithead gave a fake address to another shithead, who called the cops to the fake address, where they just killed some completely innocent guy not even known to either of the gamer shitheads. Included is this gem of deflection from the shithead accused of calling the cops:
“I DIDNT GET ANYONE KILLED BECAUSE I DIDNT DISCHARGE A WEAPON AND BEING A SWAT MEMBER ISNT MY PROFESSION”
I'll vote guilty on the charged being a shithead. But no way I hold him responsible for the murder.
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Re: Prank SWAT Call May Have Led to Wichita Police Killing a Random Man on His Own Doorstep

Post by Highway » 30 Dec 2017, 13:34

I hold him to partial blame for the shooting as well. Someone being shot is a likely outcome of a SWAT raid. Not a rare outcome. A likely outcome, especially when it's a SWAT raid for a supposed shooting and hostage situation. You call that in, you hold responsibility for putting all the people there in danger. Is it murder? No. But is there culpability? Yes.
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Re: Prank SWAT Call May Have Led to Wichita Police Killing a Random Man on His Own Doorstep

Post by Warren » 30 Dec 2017, 13:47

Highway wrote:
30 Dec 2017, 13:34
I hold him to partial blame for the shooting as well. Someone being shot is a likely outcome of a SWAT raid. Not a rare outcome. A likely outcome, especially when it's a SWAT raid for a supposed shooting and hostage situation. You call that in, you hold responsibility for putting all the people there in danger. Is it murder? No. But is there culpability? Yes.
The charge is something like filing a false report. He is guilty of that. He is not more guilty because the police are incompetent jackbooted thugs. He owns his actions, the cops own theirs.
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Re: Prank SWAT Call May Have Led to Wichita Police Killing a Random Man on His Own Doorstep

Post by Andrew » 30 Dec 2017, 13:51

Warren wrote:
30 Dec 2017, 13:47
Highway wrote:
30 Dec 2017, 13:34
I hold him to partial blame for the shooting as well. Someone being shot is a likely outcome of a SWAT raid. Not a rare outcome. A likely outcome, especially when it's a SWAT raid for a supposed shooting and hostage situation. You call that in, you hold responsibility for putting all the people there in danger. Is it murder? No. But is there culpability? Yes.
The charge is something like filing a false report. He is guilty of that. He is not more guilty because the police are incompetent jackbooted thugs. He owns his actions, the cops own theirs.
That could potentially be felony murder.

edit: maybe not in KS depending on how the Sophophone case has been interpreted: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felony_mu ... e_(Kansas)
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Re: Prank SWAT Call May Have Led to Wichita Police Killing a Random Man on His Own Doorstep

Post by Jennifer » 30 Dec 2017, 13:53

Warren wrote:
30 Dec 2017, 13:47
Highway wrote:
30 Dec 2017, 13:34
I hold him to partial blame for the shooting as well. Someone being shot is a likely outcome of a SWAT raid. Not a rare outcome. A likely outcome, especially when it's a SWAT raid for a supposed shooting and hostage situation. You call that in, you hold responsibility for putting all the people there in danger. Is it murder? No. But is there culpability? Yes.
The charge is something like filing a false report. He is guilty of that. He is not more guilty because the police are incompetent jackbooted thugs. He owns his actions, the cops own theirs.
But he committed a crime which resulted in someone else dying. Based on the "Law and Order" episodes I've seen, that's felony murder.

EDIT: Or what Andrew said.
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Re: Prank SWAT Call May Have Led to Wichita Police Killing a Random Man on His Own Doorstep

Post by Jennifer » 30 Dec 2017, 14:03

Ellie wrote:
30 Dec 2017, 12:24
Aresen wrote:
29 Dec 2017, 18:08
Jennifer wrote:
29 Dec 2017, 17:47
I read a more detailed account on the Kansas City paper; apparently they know who made the call, and before his twitter account was suspended last night he pretty much tweeted an admission.
So the cops have someone to hang it on and the devil take their own negligence. Business as usual.
That's unfortunately the interpretation I've seen from friends on Facebook. The gaming community is at fault, and needs scrutiny and reform; the cops were just doing their jobs.
Oh, great. The last thing we need now is another round of shitheads promoting what they call ethics in gaming journalism.... :cry:
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Re: Prank SWAT Call May Have Led to Wichita Police Killing a Random Man on His Own Doorstep

Post by thoreau » 30 Dec 2017, 14:25

Whether or not to call this "murder" is a bigger question than I should weigh in on, but I am comfortable saying two things:

1) If there isn't some sort of consequence for doing this we'll see more of it. You just know that there are people who would gladly call in SWAT raids on ex-lovers, former business partners, etc.

2) Since there isn't some sort of consequence for police immediately taking things to 11 and treating the slightest hint of non-compliance as justification for a shoot, we get more and more of it. I almost wonder if cops treat Radley Balko's reporting as a how-to guide. "Wow, look what the last guy got away with! Yep, that's our precedent."

One thing to keep in mind regarding consequences for cops is that being fired from a job is not a criminal punishment. If somebody wants to argue that we shouldn't lock a man in a cage over tragically bad judgment in a situation where the facts are hazy, hey, I'm totally on that. I could accept a world where a lot of the cops that Radley reports on don't go to prison because there are shades of gray. But if it's really unclear whether somebody was acting reasonably, maybe he shouldn't be paid to show up and make hard calls on the use of force. Maybe continuance in that job should be reserved for people who have a track record of demonstrably good judgment.
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Re: Prank SWAT Call May Have Led to Wichita Police Killing a Random Man on His Own Doorstep

Post by the innominate one » 30 Dec 2017, 14:47

Jennifer wrote:
30 Dec 2017, 13:53
Warren wrote:
30 Dec 2017, 13:47
Highway wrote:
30 Dec 2017, 13:34
I hold him to partial blame for the shooting as well. Someone being shot is a likely outcome of a SWAT raid. Not a rare outcome. A likely outcome, especially when it's a SWAT raid for a supposed shooting and hostage situation. You call that in, you hold responsibility for putting all the people there in danger. Is it murder? No. But is there culpability? Yes.
The charge is something like filing a false report. He is guilty of that. He is not more guilty because the police are incompetent jackbooted thugs. He owns his actions, the cops own theirs.
But he committed a crime which resulted in someone else dying. Based on the "Law and Order" episodes I've seen, that's felony murder.

EDIT: Or what Andrew said.
Obviously, I am not a lawyer, and as Andrew alluded to, laws vary by state. That being said, it's my understanding for something to be felony murder, the crime that results in a death has to be a felony. Is filing a false police report generally considered a felony?

Obligatory comments: the cop who fired is directly responsible and should probably be punished, depending on the facts of the case, and the asshole who called in the SWATting is at least morally culpable even if not legally culpable. I'd be happy to see him legally punished for his behavior, though.
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Re: Prank SWAT Call May Have Led to Wichita Police Killing a Random Man on His Own Doorstep

Post by Highway » 30 Dec 2017, 14:54

I think there definitely needs to be some sort of consequence for SWATting more than just a fine for filing a false police report. And I also wonder how much it would qualify for a wrongful death civil suit in this particular case. But there already are plenty of people who think it's just fine to not just call "the cops" on someone, but to call out a hyper-reactionary group of cops into what they think is a deadly force situation. This isn't a "prank", and the headlines that call it that do it a complete disservice. It's not ordering a dozen pizzas to someone's house. This is an attack on people, perpetrated because, apparently, calling them 'fag' or 'jew' on Xbox isn't getting their point across enough. To me it's far closer to pointing a loaded weapon at someone in a moment of anger, because that's what a SWAT team is. It's not just a cruiser rolling up and knocking on your door.

Maybe it's because they don't understand that the consequences are real, that a person shot by the police isn't just gonna respawn on the other side of the map. And if that's the case, we need to try to get people to understand that danger, injury, and death of real people are the consequences. And that's a tough one, because they're not seeing the consequences, or not enough to get them over their butthurt at being sniped too often.

Would I like this to end with the double benefit of the cops disbanding or severely curtailing the use of SWAT teams? Yeah. We've seen that most of them are used for dubious deployments, for drug raids and non-violent offenders. Would that end up with an increase in the danger to cops? Yeah, it probably would. I personally don't think that's necessarily a bad trade, because that's what their job is supposed to be, what they repeatedly claim it is, yet what it rarely is. But as usual, how we get from here to there is the question there isn't a good answer for.
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Re: Prank SWAT Call May Have Led to Wichita Police Killing a Random Man on His Own Doorstep

Post by Jennifer » 30 Dec 2017, 15:02

the innominate one wrote:
30 Dec 2017, 14:47
Jennifer wrote:
30 Dec 2017, 13:53
Warren wrote:
30 Dec 2017, 13:47
Highway wrote:
30 Dec 2017, 13:34
I hold him to partial blame for the shooting as well. Someone being shot is a likely outcome of a SWAT raid. Not a rare outcome. A likely outcome, especially when it's a SWAT raid for a supposed shooting and hostage situation. You call that in, you hold responsibility for putting all the people there in danger. Is it murder? No. But is there culpability? Yes.
The charge is something like filing a false report. He is guilty of that. He is not more guilty because the police are incompetent jackbooted thugs. He owns his actions, the cops own theirs.
But he committed a crime which resulted in someone else dying. Based on the "Law and Order" episodes I've seen, that's felony murder.

EDIT: Or what Andrew said.
Obviously, I am not a lawyer, and as Andrew alluded to, laws vary by state. That being said, it's my understanding for something to be felony murder, the crime that results in a death has to be a felony. Is filing a false police report generally considered a felony?
According to one of the news articles I read last night, it can be a felony in Kansas, but does not have to be.
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Re: Prank SWAT Call May Have Led to Wichita Police Killing a Random Man on His Own Doorstep

Post by Warren » 30 Dec 2017, 15:13

My quick googling suggests that filing a false report of a misdemeanor is a misdemeanor and filing a false report of a felony is a felony.
That strikes me as so eminently sensible, that it can't be true.
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Re: Prank SWAT Call May Have Led to Wichita Police Killing a Random Man on His Own Doorstep

Post by Jennifer » 30 Dec 2017, 15:13

Highway wrote:
30 Dec 2017, 14:54
I think there definitely needs to be some sort of consequence for SWATting more than just a fine for filing a false police report. And I also wonder how much it would qualify for a wrongful death civil suit in this particular case. But there already are plenty of people who think it's just fine to not just call "the cops" on someone, but to call out a hyper-reactionary group of cops into what they think is a deadly force situation. This isn't a "prank", and the headlines that call it that do it a complete disservice. It's not ordering a dozen pizzas to someone's house. This is an attack on people, perpetrated because, apparently, calling them 'fag' or 'jew' on Xbox isn't getting their point across enough. To me it's far closer to pointing a loaded weapon at someone in a moment of anger, because that's what a SWAT team is. It's not just a cruiser rolling up and knocking on your door.

Maybe it's because they don't understand that the consequences are real, that a person shot by the police isn't just gonna respawn on the other side of the map. And if that's the case, we need to try to get people to understand that danger, injury, and death of real people are the consequences. And that's a tough one, because they're not seeing the consequences, or not enough to get them over their butthurt at being sniped too often.

Would I like this to end with the double benefit of the cops disbanding or severely curtailing the use of SWAT teams? Yeah. We've seen that most of them are used for dubious deployments, for drug raids and non-violent offenders. Would that end up with an increase in the danger to cops? Yeah, it probably would. I personally don't think that's necessarily a bad trade, because that's what their job is supposed to be, what they repeatedly claim it is, yet what it rarely is. But as usual, how we get from here to there is the question there isn't a good answer for.
It would be nice if this resulted in some badly needed SWAT reform, but more likely it will be blamed on gamers or game culture, as Ellie mentioned upthread.

I was reading about this guy last night/this morning before bed -- I saw the man's name on Twitter when, to me, it was still "possible gossip," not something I'd've gone to print with in a journalism context -- and if you were a Hollywood casting agent looking to fill the role of "sociopathic game-playing loser," you couldn't find a better candidate if you tried.

What makes me think a game backlash is extra-likely here is, consider "gaming" from the perspective of someone who never plays games and knows nobody who does, someone whose sole knowledge of it comes from gaming-related events serious enough to make non-gaming news headlines ... let's see, first there was Gamergate ("Ah, so gamers are misogynistic man-children who'll dox and send death threats to women who complain about oversexualized game characters, then the gamers will complain that they're the victims here"), and now there's this ("Ah, so gamers are sociopathic man-children who are unemployed, living in 'transitional housing,' think calling in hoax bomb threats is hilarious fun, and will have someone swatted to death over a $1.50 wager.")

The Wichita cops must be feeling very, very grateful right now.
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Re: Prank SWAT Call May Have Led to Wichita Police Killing a Random Man on His Own Doorstep

Post by Aresen » 30 Dec 2017, 19:05

Highway wrote:
30 Dec 2017, 13:34
I hold him to partial blame for the shooting as well. Someone being shot is a likely outcome of a SWAT raid. Not a rare outcome. A likely outcome, especially when it's a SWAT raid for a supposed shooting and hostage situation. You call that in, you hold responsibility for putting all the people there in danger. Is it murder? No. But is there culpability? Yes.
Team Highway. People who SWAT others know damn well that the cops are primed to over-react. The prank caller had to be aware of the possibility of deadly force being used. I'd put it on the level of a person driving at high speed whose car goes out of control and kills a pedestrian.
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Re: Prank SWAT Call May Have Led to Wichita Police Killing a Random Man on His Own Doorstep

Post by Mo » 30 Dec 2017, 22:38

As for who is to blame, insert "Why not both?" gif here.
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Re: Prank SWAT Call May Have Led to Wichita Police Killing a Random Man on His Own Doorstep

Post by nicole » 31 Dec 2017, 08:04

Yeah I mean the SWATter is to blame because you don’t SWAT someone without realizing why it’s so terrible. And the SWAT is to blame because SWATting wouldn’t exist if SWAT weren’t so terrible.
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Re: Prank SWAT Call May Have Led to Wichita Police Killing a Random Man on His Own Doorstep

Post by JD » 31 Dec 2017, 10:12

IANAL, but isn't it a general principle of the law that you are responsible for the consequences of your actions? That is, even if X didn't know Y or intend for him to be killed, if X's actions caused the death of Y, then X is legally responsible for that.

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Re: Prank SWAT Call May Have Led to Wichita Police Killing a Random Man on His Own Doorstep

Post by Highway » 31 Dec 2017, 10:42

L.A. Police have arrested a 25-year old suspected of calling the SWAT team.
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Re: Prank SWAT Call May Have Led to Wichita Police Killing a Random Man on His Own Doorstep

Post by Warren » 31 Dec 2017, 11:11

My problem with holding the SWATer culpable for the death, is what if the SWAT team didn't shoot anybody? Is his crime less? I want competent police. We'll never get them so long as we keep giving them a free pass. I want the police held accountable for their actions, and I want people that falsely report crimes held accountable for theirs. And I don't think falsely reporting crimes is a lesser crime if the police aren't given a pass.
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Re: Prank SWAT Call May Have Led to Wichita Police Killing a Random Man on His Own Doorstep

Post by Aresen » 31 Dec 2017, 11:12

nicole wrote:
31 Dec 2017, 08:04
Yeah I mean the SWATter is to blame because you don’t SWAT someone without realizing why it’s so terrible. And the SWAT is to blame because SWATting wouldn’t exist if SWAT weren’t so terrible.
The last half is the crux of the matter. If the "New Professionalism®" were a real thing and cops acted thoughtfully and carefully, the matter would still be a nasty prank but Mr. Finch would still be alive.

One can despise the asshole who made the call without letting the cops off the hook, but we well know that the cops and the copsuckers are going to throw the entire blame on the guy who made the call.

EDIT: Plus what Warren said.
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