House Approves Higher Penalty for “Swatting”

The state House in Olympia voted Wednesday to hike the penalty to a felony for dangerous crime you’ve probably never heard of. Dan Frizzell from the House Democratic Caucus has more.

WRAP: It’s called swatting, as in SWAT team, and it’s when someone purposely makes a false report of a serious crime taking place at the home or business of someone else to draw multiple first responders to the location. Years ago, lawmakers say, it might have been a misguided prank. Today it’s frequently a hate crime with victims targeted because of race, gender, sexual identify, or religion. It’s about to become a felony in Washington state if Representative Javier Valdez’s bill reaches the governor’s desk. Valdez talks about the dangers of swatting:

VALDEZ: “You could unfortunately get killed by a SWAT team coming in, or you could be injured. But it’s also that psychological torment that you have to go through knowing that somebody called a SWAT team on you for no reason at all.”

Valdez, a Democrat from Seattle where swatting incidents have increased several hundred percent in the last three years, saw his bill pass out of the House unanimously Wednesday and expects quick approval in the Senate.  In Olympia, Dan Frizzell.