LAPD Will No Longer Provide Info To Media On Celeb ‘Swatting’ Pranks
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The Los Angeles Police Department said Thursday that they will no longer offer immediate information to the media on bogus 911 calls that target celebrity homes.
“We think that whoever is doing this is motivated by watching the police on TV and watching the helicopters come in, and we don’t want to allow that opportunity,” said Cmdr. Andrew Smith.
Smith said the department will also stop broadcasting the “swatting” calls so news organizations can’t hear the location of the star’s home. The media will now have to file a public records request, which can take 10 days.
When asked if residents have the right to know about a potential safety concern, Smith said, “Our officers will always talk to the families and the people who live in the neighborhoods about what’s going on and reassure them that it’s not an actual emergency there. What we won’t do is broadcast the street to the media, we won’t broadcast whose house it was.”
Smith said they’re also trying to keep the address private to prevent a potentially dangerous outcome.
“Officers responding with guns drawn…taking people out…it’s dangerous for everybody. It’s a big danger to our community,” he said.
In recent months, Ashton Kutcher, Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, and Tom Cruise have also been hit by the fake emergency calls, which are made to solicit a large police response and ties up a department’s resources.
In December, police arrested a 12-year-old boy in connection to calls made to the homes of Bieber and Kutcher.