Swatting Suspect Charged, But the Cop Who Killed Innocent Man Will Likely Walk Free

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Wichita, KS – As the fallout of the tragic case in which a man was shot and killed by police in an apparent case of “swatting” begins, the suspect responsible for the 911 call will likely face criminal charges, but the officers responsible for the shooting will likely walk free.

Andrew Finch, 28, was shot and killed for the crime of opening his front door when a slew of SWAT team members arrived at his home and claimed that he “reached towards his waistband,” possibly preparing to retrieve a weapon. However, the father of two was unarmed, and the reason officers were at this house had nothing to do with him.

The 911 call was placed by Tyler Barriss, 25, a man who had never met Finch and who lived nearly 1,400 miles away in Los Angeles, California. Barriss has a history of “swatting,” or calling 911 to file a false report about a fake emergency that includes murder or hostages, prompting the deployment of a SWAT Team. While the FBI claims that around 400 swatting incidents occur each year, reports claim that Barriss has made a significant contribution and has spent time in jail for making fake bomb threats.

In fact, Barriss even went by the username “SWAuTistic” online. He made a call to police on Dec. 28 claiming that he had just murdered his father, and was holding his mother and brother at gunpoint, after covering the house in gasoline with the intent to set it on fire. Barriss used Finch’s residence, which had been given out during an argument on a Call of Duty game online that neither Barriss, nor Finch, were involved with directly.

Despite the fact that police should have been able to see that Barriss was not located in the state of Kansas, they took his claims seriously and deployed a SWAT team to the residence.

Barriss was arrested on a felony warrant, and a report from The Wichita Eagle noted that he will likely face charges for “making a fake emergency call,” which is a crime under Kansas law that can be treated as a misdemeanor or a felony.

“The crime is a felony when a caller disguises his or her identity using an electronic device or software and in cases where a caller falsely reports violent criminal activity or an immediate threat to a person’s life. The maximum sentence a person convicted under the felony version of the law would receive is probation or less than three years in prison. Other potential state court charges depend on the fake story a swatter tells. Someone who calls in a bomb scare, for example, could be charged with criminal threat.”

The report also noted that there is a chance Barriss could be charged with Finch’s death. If prosecutors pursued a homicide charge, it would likely be second-degree reckless murder or manslaughter. However, The Eagle claimed that it is not likely Barriss will face those charges “if the shooting by the officer is deemed justified.”

What about the officer who pulled the trigger? All of the attention surrounding the fact that this shooting resulted from a “swatting” prank has covered up the fact that the shooting itself was carried out by a police officer who shot and killed an innocent, unarmed man.

The officer, who has yet to be publicly identified, will likely claim that he was dispatched to the residence under the belief that he was preparing to apprehend a highly dangerous man who had just committed murder and was holding his family hostage. He will then claim that when that man walked out onto the front porch and reached for his waistband, it made the officer “fear for his life.” Thanks to a history of officers who have used that excuse, it is likely that this shooting will be deemed “justified.”

While police kill around 1,000 people each year, Philip Stinson, an associate professor of criminal justice at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, noted that between 2005 and April 2017, 80 officers have been arrested on murder or manslaughter charges for on-duty shootings,” and during that time, only 35 percent were convicted.

Stinson also claimed in 2016 that since 2005, “there have only been 13 officers convicted of murder or manslaughter in fatal on-duty shootings.” That number was zero in both 2014 and 2015.

The murder of Andrew Finch was tragic, and while Tyler Barriss should be held accountable for his actions, that should not take away from the fact that a police officer shot and killed a man who did not threaten him in any way, and he opened fire on a house when he believed there were family members inside.

Source Article from http://thefreethoughtproject.com/swatting-suspect-will-charged-cop-killed-innocent-man-will-likely-walk-free/

‘Swatting’ suspect has a record of fake calls

The man accused of making a hoax 911 call that led to a fatal police shooting in Kansas has a record of “swatting,” including calling police to schools and a Los Angeles news organization.

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Source Article from https://www.yahoo.com/news/swatting-suspect-record-fake-calls-160412534.html

LA Man Arrested For 'Swatting' Call That Led To Innocent Kansas Man's Death

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Authorities arrested a 25-year-old man in California for a “swatting” prank emergency call that led to the death of an innocent 28-year-old Kansas man who was shot by police responders on Thursday evening as he stood on his front doorstep. 

Tyler Barriss was taken into custody Friday in Los Angeles on suspicion of making up a story about a shooting and hostage situation at a Wichita address halfway across the country. A man by the same name was arrested in 2015 for making a fake bomb threat to an ABC affiliate news station in Los Angeles.

Relatives identified the deceased as Andrew Finch, who was unarmed, Wichita police confirmed.

Deputy Wichita Police Chief Troy Livingston said the incident was the result of “swatting,” a type of hoaxassociated with online video gamers, where someone makes up a story in a fake emergency call designed to draw large numbers of police to a specific address.

Based on the emergency call, placed at 6:18 p.m. CST, officers dispatched to the scene believed someone at the address had an argument with his mother, shot his father in the head, and was then holding his mother and two siblings hostage as he considered setting the house on fire. Swatters often use techniques to shield themselves from call tracing that might give them away, but it is unclear what method, if any, was used here.

Finch opened the door to a swarm of police shortly after they arrived. Livingston said officers repeatedly gave him verbal commands to raise his hands and walk towards them, but Finch lowered his hands to his waist several times. When Finch moved his hands suddenly upwards, one of the officers believed he had brandished a weapon and fired one shot, the deputy chief added.

The Kansas incident is believed to be the result of a dispute between two “Call of Duty” gamers that originated on Twitter and escalated when one gamer posted an address that was not his own.

Finch had no part in the dispute. Relatives told the Wichita Eagle that he did not even play video games.

A Twitter user who claimed to have initiated the hoax reportedly denied responsibility for Finch’s death, writing, “I DIDN’T GET ANYONE KILLED BECAUSE I DIDN’T DISCHARGE A WEAPON AND BEING A SWAT MEMBER ISNT MY PROFESSION.” 

Family members told the Wichita Eagle they were handcuffed following the gunshot and taken to a station where they were interviewed by police. They are calling for the authorities to hold the officer who shot him accountable.

“What gives the cops the right to open fire?” Finch’s mother, Lisa, asked Friday morning. “Why didn’t they give him the same warning they gave us? That cop murdered my son over a false report.”

Livingston called it “a nightmare for everyone involved” at a press conference on Friday.

“Due to the actions of a prankster, we have an innocent victim,” he said.

The officer who fired the deadly shot was placed on administrative leave, per department policy. 

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

Source Article from https://www.yahoo.com/news/la-man-arrested-apos-swatting-175332211.html

Sloane Stephens falls off her chair swatting a fly at US Open press conference (VIDEO)

Coming out of an 11-month recovery process following surgery on her foot, the number-83-ranked Stephens, who started training only in May, has had a great run in the on-going US Open tournament.

Beating Sevastova on Tuesday night, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (4) she has reached her second-ever Grand Slam semi-final, where she will now face Venus Williams.

It’s interesting to note that two days prior to her match with Stephens, Sevastova knocked Russia’s Maria Sharapova out of the tournament.

READ MORE: ‘I can take a lot from this week’ says Maria Sharapova after US Open exit

While battling her opponents on the court did not appear to be a problem for the 24-year-old Florida native, an unexpected attack by a flying insect at the press conference seemed to perturb her quite a bit.

“Oh my God, what is that that?” said the athlete falling from her chair.

“It’s a fly,” replied one of the reporters.

“Oh my God, looked like a dragon!” she said, still on the floor.

“That was a lot, I am so sorry,” Stephens said, while getting back on the chair.

The insect, however, came back and kept attacking the tennis player, who then grabbed one of her sneakers and started battling the bug with it.

“I don’t like bugs. That’s so disgusting. I don’t know where they came from,” said Stephens, when the insect was finally gone.

The Stephens-Williams semi-final match will be hosted at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens, New York on Friday.

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/sport/402330-sloane-stephens-fly-press-conference/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS